dearJulius.com

Weight Widens the Pay Gap


By Tanya Tarr, Instyle

Does the number on your bathroom scale weigh on what you earn at work? Recent analysis from Lancaster University confirms that there is a weight pay gap, but that’s not the whole story. People being paid less, mistreated, or even fired from their jobs based on someone else's judgement of their appearance is all too common — and it's not against the law.

I thought about this connection between body type, perceptions of health and the pay gap while watching the Hulu series Shrill, which was recently greenlit for a second season. The show follows Annie (played by Aidy Bryant), a plus-size Millennial writer in Portland, Oregon, as she navigates life with her roommate, her friends, a deadbeat boyfriend — and no shortage of infuriating comments about her body.

In a coffee shop, a fitness coach tells her there’s a smaller, thinner person inside of her, waiting to get out. Annie’s mother pressures her to eat expensive and unpalatable low-calorie pre-made meals. I was enraged on Annie’s behalf, on behalf of writer Lindy West, upon whose book and life the story was based, and on the many other women navigating body-shaming and worse. It’s known that women make less than their male counterparts in nearly every profession — but plus-sized women, like the fictional Annie, can take a double hit. A 2018 survey done by LinkedIn in the United Kingdom found that people who are classified as obese earned on average $2,512 less than their thinner counterparts. Overweight or obese women dealt with an even steeper penalty of a whopping $11,547 gap in pay from what men who are also overweight earn.

This bias is expressed in Shrill by Annie’s boss, Gabe Parrish (played by John Cameron Mitchell). Parrish declares that overweight or obese people are lazy, cost too much in terms of health insurance, and are generally a drag on the company. “Why should I have to subsidize other people’s healthcare problems,” Parrish yells at Annie, shaming her in front of the entire office. Dramatic as the scene may have been, the sad truth is that Parrish vocalizes biases that many people hold, consciously or not.

But here’s the thing: the weight pay gap is connected to two myths around how we think about weight. The first myth is that being heavier is somehow outside the bounds of being “average.” In reality, the average American is plus-sized, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC also found that 71.6 percent of Americans over 20 were classified as overweight between 2015 and 2016. The average dress size for American women is between size 16 and 18. Treating people at the plus end of the spectrum as if they’re “over” a certain acceptable weight misses the point that they are, more likely, the norm and not the exception.

Meanwhile, the metric used to determine whether a person is overweight or not is based on the body mass index, or BMI, which is considered a measurement of health based on weight and height. But the BMI is more than 100 years old and is often discredited as an effective health metric. Furthermore, it's in no way a gauge of work ethic.

“BMI is a pretty decent measure of body fat if you're trying to describe a population,” says Dr. Patricia Smith, an economist at the University of Michigan. “If you're trying to predict health risks for a population for its costs, [BMI data is] pretty low cost to collect and it does a fair job at the population level.” This is why employers — and more importantly, health insurance companies — have used BMI to assess health risks and insurance costs. But Dr. Smith notes that on an individual level, the BMI is just not accurate. For example, if you’re an athlete or have dense bone structure, you might register as overweight, regardless of living a fit and healthy lifestyle.

This brings us to the second weight myth: that overweight or obese people have more health problems and therefore cost more in terms of health insurance. The research doesn’t back that idea up. A 2011 study from York University found that obese people who were active and ate a healthy diet lived just as long as their non-overweight counterparts, and were also less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. The same research team found in 2018 that metabolically healthy obese people don’t have an increased mortality rate when compared to slimmer people. Yet another study from the University of California, Los Angeles reviewed 40,000 records of health data from 2005 to 2012 from the Centers for Disease Control. Half of the participants were overweight, and about a third were considered obese, again determined by the BMI. Similar to the findings of the York University studies, UCLA researchers found that there wasn’t a link between BMI and cardio-metabolic health. In fact, 47 percent of those considered overweight were actually healthy, and 29 percent of those considered obese were also healthy. Thirty percent of those with a so-called healthy BMI were not actually metabolically healthy.

In other words, being considered overweight or obese doesn't necessarily mean you’re unhealthy or run a higher risk of weight-related mortality. So it’s not a reliable predictor of how much you might cost an insurance provider (and, thus, your employer). It certainly isn’t a reliable predictor of office productivity. And we don't even need to gratify the "lazy" assumption with any research — that's just a hurtful and ignorant thing to say.

So how does this show up in the workplace?

Weight bias is yet another form of unconscious or implicit bias, or an internalized social stereotype against a group of people based on a characteristic they can't control, like weight. Dr. Smith argues that in terms of fairness and economic efficiency, becoming aware of weight bias is essential. “If you're judging people on who gets hired, who gets promoted, who gets to go to professional development training based on their weight, you're likely to make a mistake. You want [employees] to work well with others. You want them to be productive, and does weight really have anything to do with that? For most jobs, it doesn't,” she says.

Actively working against implicit bias — just like actively increasing racial and gender diversity or being inclusive toward working parents — makes for better business. One of the biggest hurdles to overcoming salary unfairness based on body type is that body type is not actually a protected class in most places, according to Mindy Gulati, an attorney and diversity, equity and inclusion consultant. That means it’s not considered discrimination to pay a heavier person differently than you would a slimmer one. In fact, in 49 states, it is legal to fire someone because of their appearance. Michigan is the only state where the law has been challenged and upheld to protect employees based on body type.

Gulati notes that executives are starting to see that body type biases have the potential to hurt companies, and mentioned a recent conversation she had with a senior tech executive. He realized that he interviewed some candidates differently from other applicants to his sales team. “He would ask questions like ‘Can you keep up? Are you fast enough? Do you have the stamina for this role?’ He realized those were words and phrases he was not using with all candidates,” Gulati says. The executive realized that this sort of bias was influencing his hiring and promotion decisions, causing him to miss out on great candidates based on irrelevant metrics, and surely holding his company back.

It has taken shamefully long for companies to realize this oversight when it comes to fair hiring of women, people of color, LGBTQ people — it shouldn't be hard to realize they've been perpetrating the same treatment based on body type, as well.

Which brings us back to Shrill and the way that Annie helps us examine what it means to be a plus-sized woman in the working world, and how it might be time for laws that specifically protect this type of worker. “When legislation passed to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race and gender, we can see jumps in productivity based on economic growth and labor productivity measures,” says Dr. Smith. “I suspect we could see the same thing if we could prevent discrimination on the basis of weight as well.” In the absence of any such legal protections, Annie quits her job at the end of season 1. Here’s hoping that next season, she lands somewhere that sees her value — and pays her for it.

COMMENTS




Made with in NYC
Name

4th of July,7,Abu Dhabi,2,Accessories,234,Acne,13,Adventure,32,Adventure Travel,638,Advice,295,Africa,26,African Food,2,AIDS,1,Air Travel,150,Alabama,5,Alaska,20,Alberta,1,Alcohol,4,All About Beer,1,All About Wine,2,Alternative Treatments,4,America,77,American Food,5,Amsterdam,2,Android,11,Anguilla,3,Animal,367,Animal Health,1,Animals,103,Anniversary,1,Anniversary Cake,11,Antarctica,7,Anti-aging,49,Antigua,3,Appetizers & Snacks,2,Apple,11,Apps,16,Argentina,15,Arizona,19,Arkansas,2,Armenia,1,Asia Travel,47,Asian Food,7,Asthma,4,Athens,3,Austin,8,Australia,92,Australian Food,1,Austria,13,Autism,1,Auto Insurance,1,Auto Show,52,Autos,358,Azerbaijan,1,Baby Shower Cake,29,Back Pain,25,Bags,10,Bahamas,13,Balance Work & Life,50,Banana Cakes,2,Bangladesh,8,Barn Finds,1,Bathroom,43,Be a Better Manager,33,Beach Travel,58,Beaded Dress,2,Beards and Shaving,29,Beauty,1888,Beauty & Style,35,Beef Recipes,7,Belarus,1,Belgium,9,Belize,15,Bermuda,5,Best Products,17,Better Partner,40,Beverages,3,Bhutan,9,Bills to Pay,35,Birds,4,Birth Control,1,Birthday Cake,109,Blue Lagoon,2,Blueberry Cake,11,Bolivia,3,Books,1,Botswana,3,Brazil,38,Bread,11,Breads,1,Break Room,12,Breakfast & Brunch,6,Breakup,19,Breakups,3,breast,1,Breasts,69,Broken Hearts,5,Brownie,8,Brunei,1,Budget Travel,97,Bundt Cake,30,Business Skills,102,Butter Cake,52,Buying,1,By Region,3,Cake Decorating,113,Cakes,54,California,109,Cambodia,4,Camera,6,Canada,80,Cancer,73,Car Shows,1,Car Tech,2,Caramel Cake,5,Career,189,Career Advice,298,Career Choice,125,Career Growth,180,Career Paths,24,Career Problem,8,Caribbean,45,Caribbean & Mexico,5,Carrot Cake,22,Cats,49,Celebrity,17,Celebrity Dress,2,Celebs,1,Ceremonial Cake,9,Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles,1,Cheese Recipes,4,Cheesecakes,251,Chicago,7,Chicago Auto Show,2,Chicken Recipes,14,Chiffon Cake,5,Children's Health,21,Chile,7,China,21,Chocolate Cake,395,Christmas,35,Christmas Cake,23,Christmas Travel,14,Classic Cars,39,Cleaning Tips,144,Clinical Practice,1,Clothes,1,Cocktail Recipes,2,Coconut Cake,21,Coffee,1,Coffee Cake,15,Coliseum,1,Colombia,18,Colorado,32,Columbia,3,Communication,2,Companies,2,Compassion,2,Computing,16,Connecticut,4,Consumer Electronics Show,5,Cookies,10,Cooking,8,Corporate Travel,2,Costa Rica,13,Country Travel,249,Creative,309,Creative Idea,22,Creative Ideas,37,Croatia,15,Cruiser Travel,16,Cuba,18,Cultural Travel,66,Cupcake,322,Customs & Classics,2,Czech Republic,6,D.C.,2,Dandruff,1,Dating,18,Dating Advice,73,Dating Advice for Women,22,Dating Tips,13,Decor,23,Decorating Ideas,181,Delaware,1,Demotivational,636,Denmark,12,Dental Health,26,Dentistry,1,Depression,24,Desert Travel,1,Desserts,3,Detroit Auto Show,4,Diabetes,25,Diet,131,Dining Out,3,Dinner,14,Disease,116,Divorce,16,DIY,112,DIY Fashion,34,Dogs,156,Doughnuts,5,Dress,29,Drink,27,Drinks,1,Drinks & Cocktails,4,Driving,3,Drugs,3,Dubai,15,Ears,2,East Africa,4,Easter,1,Easter Island,1,Easter Travel,1,Eco Travel,18,Ecuador,7,Education,87,Eggs,3,Egypt,4,Electronics,4,Electronics and Gadgets,2,Emirates,1,England,13,Entertainment,148,Enthusiasts,131,Entrepreneurship,40,Estonia,2,Eswatini,1,Ethiopia,2,Europe,110,European Food,8,Exercises,51,Eye,300,Eye Health,28,Eyebrow,56,Eyelash,20,Face,54,Facts,284,Fall Travel,43,Family,16,Family Travel,128,Faroe Island,1,Fashion,395,Fashion for Kids,2,Fashion for Man,12,Fashion for Woman,31,Fat Loss,91,Father's Day Cake,4,Father's Day Travel,1,Featured,218,Features,1913,Fertility,2,Festival Travel,25,Fiji,6,Finance,22,Finland,16,Fish & Seafood,13,Fitness,1177,Fitness & Exercise,219,Florida,69,Food,183,Food and Drink,14,Food Recipes,7,France,37,Frankfurt Motor Show,2,Free Travel,3,French,6,French Polynesia,5,Friendship,40,Fruit & Veggie Recipes,8,Fruitcake,70,Fruits,4,Fuel Economy,1,Fun,42,Funny,546,Gadgets,31,Galapagos,3,Games,12,Garden,24,Gardening,277,Gearheads,1,General,7,Geneva Motor Show,3,Georgia,14,Germany,18,Get Healthy,63,Ghana,2,Girlfriend Grooming,10,Google,15,Graduation Cake,2,Gratitude,11,Greece,37,Green Living,5,Greenland,1,Grooming,89,Guatemala,2,Hair,1264,Hair Care,317,Hair Color,299,Hairstyle,65,Hairstyles,855,Halloween,41,Halloween Cake,12,Halloween Travel,9,Happiness,19,Hawaii,53,Hayden Panettiere,1,Headache,22,Health,854,Health & Fitness,300,Health Care,491,Health Insurance,1,Healthcare Tech,6,Healthy,12,Healthy Drinks,31,Healthy Eating,186,Healthy Habits,159,Healthy Living,345,Hearing,1,Hiking Travel,63,HIV/AIDS,4,Holiday Travel,28,Holland,1,home,31,Home & Garden,205,Home and Decor,483,Honeymoon Travel,128,Hong Kong,13,Horoscope,31,Hot Rod Power Tour,1,Hotels,71,Housekeeper,8,Hungary,3,Ice cream Cake,21,Iceland,41,Idaho,4,Ideas,11,Illinois,13,Imports,1,Impress a Girl,20,Impress Women,4,Independence Day Travel,1,India,36,Indiana,5,Indonesia,13,Indoor Gardening,69,Industry,5,Inspiration,58,Insurance,5,Internet,19,Internship,8,Interview Skills,37,Investing,12,iPad,2,iPhone,6,Iraq,1,Ireland,36,Island,60,islands,2,Israel,9,Italy,56,Jamaica,8,Japan,44,Jealousy,2,Jewelry,13,Job Search,47,Jordan,6,Just For Fun,2,Kansas,6,Kentucky,2,Kenya,2,Kids,1,Kids & Pets,10,Kitchen,67,Koala,1,Korea,2,Kyrgyzstan,1,Lamb,2,Laptops,4,Latin America,3,Latin American Food,1,Latvia,1,Laundry,6,Layer Cake,95,Leadership,44,Legs,1,Lemon Cake,18,Life,1,Life Hacks,273,Lifestyle,908,Lips,134,Lithuania,2,London,24,Long Distance Relationship,24,Los Angeles Auto Show,14,Louisiana,9,Love,165,Lowa,4,Lunch,5,Luxembourg,1,Luxury Travel,35,Maine,6,Maintenance,3,Makeup,608,Makeup & Beauty,11,Makeup Tips,77,Malaysia,1,Maldives,15,Malta,2,Mango Cake,3,Manicure,10,Marketing,10,Markets,11,Marriage,97,Marshmallow,3,Maryland,6,Massachusetts,9,Massage,5,Mauritius,6,Meditation,35,Men & Women,18,Men's,2,Men's Health,14,Menstruation,21,Mental Health,302,Mexico,74,Miami,13,Michigan,5,Microsoft,6,Middle Eastern Food,2,Mind,3,Mississippi,2,Missouri,7,Mobile,22,Moldova,1,Monaco,1,Money & Career,21,Monkey,1,Montana,12,Morocco,20,Mother's Day Travel,1,Motherhood,16,Motivation,2,Motorcycles,106,Motorsports,2,Mousse,2,Muffins,9,Mug Cake,14,Multiple Sclerosis,1,Muscle Cars,4,Muscle Cars & Hot Rods,3,Muscle Gain,2,Myanmar,9,Nail Art,195,Nails,252,Namibia,4,Nature,4,Nature Travel,102,Nepal,6,Netherlands,11,Nevada,23,Nevis,1,New Bikes,2,New Car Deals,1,New England,5,New Jersey,2,New Mexico,6,New Year Fashion,6,New Year's Day Travel,6,New York,55,New York Auto Show,3,New York City,20,New Zealand,47,Newfoundland,1,Newlyweds,4,News,334,Nicaragua,2,North America,11,North Carolina,6,North Dakota,1,North Ireland,1,Northern Ireland,1,Norway,20,Nutrition,447,Occasional Travel,9,Oceania,1,Offbeat,676,Ohio,6,Oman,5,Online Date Tips,2,Operating Systems,2,Oral,4,Oregon,10,outdoor,3,Outfits,166,Ownership,61,Pain,24,Painting,16,Pakistan,2,Panama,5,Pancake,19,Panda,1,Panna Cotta,3,Paraguay,1,Parenting,370,Paris,23,Paris Motor Show,4,Pasta,2,Pastry,7,Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance,2,Pedicure,4,Penguin,4,Pennsylvania,10,People & Places,88,Perfumes,14,Personal Finance,164,Peru,21,Pets,197,Phoenix,1,Photo Feature,1,Pie,27,Pimple,3,Plum Cake,1,Poke Cake,10,Poland,3,Popular Ingredients,26,Pork Recipes,7,Portable Media,14,Portugal,21,Pound Cake,55,Prague,1,Pregnancy,112,Premium,1,Printer,2,Protein Bars,1,Psychology,1,Pudding,9,Puerto Rico,7,Pumpkin Cake,45,Qatar,6,Quick & Easy Recipes,11,Real Estate,72,Recalls,4,Recipe,1098,Recipes,52,Recipes & Meal Ideas,3,Recipes By Course,5,Relationship,167,Relationship Advice,180,Relationship Advice for Men,23,Relationship Advice for Women,27,Relationship Problems,58,Relationship Secrets,14,Relationships,139,Research,94,Resort,11,Restaurants & News,13,Resume,11,Retirement,10,Reviews,1,Rhode Island,2,River Travel,2,Road Trips,49,Romania,4,Romantic Getaways,15,Rome,5,Russia,16,Safety,5,Saint Lucia,1,Saint Patrick's Day Travel,1,Salad,6,San Miguel de Allende,1,Science & Tech,66,Scotland,10,Seasonal,56,Seasonal Travel,59,Security,9,Self Help,14,Self-Care,3,SEMA Show,5,Senior Relationship,2,Sex,7,Sexual Health,19,Shanghai Auto Show,7,Shaving,1,Sheet Cake,20,Shirt,4,Shoes,29,Shopping,10,Shots & Shooters,1,Side Dishes,4,Sightseeing Tours,2,Singapore,18,Ski Resorts,10,Skin,429,Skin Caare,1,Skin Care,609,Sleep,62,Slovenia,6,Small Business,163,Smartphone,28,Smile,1,Smoothies & Juices,3,Snacks,1,Social Media,44,Solo Travel,24,Solomon Islands,1,Somoa,1,Soth Africa,1,South Africa,14,South America,3,South Carolina,4,South Dakota,5,South Korea,3,South Pacific,2,Space Travel,14,Spain,33,Special,46,Special Cake,579,Special Feature,113,Special Features,490,Sponge Cake,15,Sports,22,Sports and Exotics,4,Sports Cars,8,Spring Travel,23,Squirrel,1,Sri Lanka,6,Strawberry Cake,22,Street Fashion,8,Stress Relief,35,Stroke,2,Student Travel,1,Style Guide,25,Summer Travel,53,Summer Vacation,8,Supercars,10,Sweden,19,Swiss Alps,1,Switzerland,20,Tahiti,1,Taiwan,3,Tanzania,1,Tarts,12,Tattoos,81,Taxes,7,Teas,2,Tech,89,Tech Advice,12,Tech Education,7,Tech Hacks,19,Tech Updates,2,Technology,17,Teen Advice,4,Teeth,5,Tennessee,6,Texas,57,Thailand,31,Thanksgiving Cake,4,Thanksgiving Travel,5,Therapy,3,Things to Do,165,Tibet,2,Tips,264,Tips & Tricks,6,Tokyo Motor Show,2,Tools & Skills,16,Top Stocks,1,Top Stories,1,Traditional Cake,4,Train Travel,23,Training,1,Transportation,22,Travel,225,Travel Advice,64,Travel Apps,1,Travel Guide,40,Travel Tips,149,Trends,7,Trucks,1,True Health,5,Tunisia,2,Turkey,10,Turkish,1,Tuscany,1,TV,2,UAE,10,UK,40,Ukrine,1,Understanding Women,28,Urban Travel,47,Uruguary,1,USA,629,Utah,12,Uzbekistan,1,Vacation Travel,245,Valentine's Day Cake,7,Valentine's Day Travel,1,Vanilla Cake,17,Vegetables,3,Vehicle Travel,2,Venezuela,1,Vermont,4,Victoria Falls,1,Video,5,Vietnam,5,Virginia,5,Waffles,3,Washington,15,Washington DC,20,Waxing,19,Web & Social,17,Wedding,87,Wedding Cake,549,Wedding Dress,30,Weddings,60,Weddings Travel,4,wei,1,Weight Gain,29,Weight Loss,755,Weird,172,Wellness,193,West Indies,2,Wi-Fi,2,Wildlife Travel,13,Winter Travel,56,Wisconsin,5,Women Lifestyle,23,Women's,121,Women's Health,173,Work Environment,77,Workout,8,Workouts,81,Worldwide,155,Wyoming,2,xxx,1,Yemen,1,Yoga,85,YouTube,3,Zadar,2,Zambia,3,Zimbabwe,4,
ltr
item
Unplugged Magazine: Weight Widens the Pay Gap
Weight Widens the Pay Gap
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cIEt8gA9C74/XODUboyzw0I/AAAAAAAAiB8/IcBMUtcXJOMSmwpbJVEE2rug3pI6Iy2KgCLcBGAs/s1600/Weight%2BWidens%2Bthe%2BPay%2BGap.jpg
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cIEt8gA9C74/XODUboyzw0I/AAAAAAAAiB8/IcBMUtcXJOMSmwpbJVEE2rug3pI6Iy2KgCLcBGAs/s72-c/Weight%2BWidens%2Bthe%2BPay%2BGap.jpg
Unplugged Magazine
https://unplugged.dearjulius.com/2019/05/weight-widens-pay-gap.html
https://unplugged.dearjulius.com/
https://unplugged.dearjulius.com/
https://unplugged.dearjulius.com/2019/05/weight-widens-pay-gap.html
true
7156791814370638008
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy