How an Employee's Weight Can Affect His or Her Paycheck

Social stereotypes play into the salaries of male and female employees, with thin women earning more than overweight women, and average-weight men earning more than thin men.

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Why thin-women and average-weight men earn more in the workplace.When it comes to the salaries of men and women in the workplace, an employee's body weight often determines the size of his or her paycheck, according to a study by the Journal of Applied Psychology entitled "When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women." The study reinforced stereotypical notions about thin women, and reported that women who weigh significantly less than the group norm earn about $16,000 more a year on average than women who are overweight.

However, the study found the opposite to be true for men, with thin men not reaping the benefits that their female counterparts do when it comes to their earning potential. Average-weight men, and even those who are on the overweight side, earn about $8,000 more than their skinny male co-workers, the study found. Over the course of a 25-year career, these figures account for skinny women earning $389,300 more than average-weight women, while skinny men earn $210,925 less than the average male.

The researchers for the study, Timothy A. Judge of the University of Florida and Daniel M. Cable of London Business School, said the findings are a result of subconscious decisions based on entrenched social stereotypes. They cited other studies that show employers and fellow employees subconsciously associate the positive values of self-discipline, thrift and hard work with thin individuals, while obesity signals negative associations that the individual is undisciplined, dishonest and less likely to do productive work.

Tags: employee salary, employee weight, News, workplace survey

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