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Overweight Women Hit A Glass Ceiling, Overweight Men Get Promoted

A larger waistline may enhance a man’s chance of being promoted in the U.S., whereas overweight women have little prospects of being promoted, according to a study published recently. Researchers found that only 5 percent of male and female bosses at 1,000 leading companies in the U.S. were considered obese — an average of 36 percent of men and 38 percent of women of a similar age are obese in the United States. However, they also found that of the leading male bosses, 61 percent were overweight — only 41 percent of males the same age are overweight in the United States. In contrast, overweight women made up only 22 percent of the chief executives, compared with 29 percent of same age women in the U.S. “The results suggest that while being obese limits the career opportunities of both women and men, being ‘merely overweight’ harms only female executives – and may actually benefit male executives,” said researcher Mark Roehling, an associate professor of human resource management at Michigan State University. The study also backs up previous research that shows weight standards for women are harsher in white, middle-class communities. The study also suggests there’s a preference for larger-sized men and smaller-sized women in the business world. “It appears that the glass ceiling effect on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women,” said Roehling. [News.Scotsman.com]

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