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Women face weight discrimination

Published: September 27, 2016

A new study has revealed that many women face weight-based discrimination at work.

Research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found many female workers are the subject of weight-based prejudice, especially within the service industry.

Professor Dennis Nickson, from the University of Strathclyde’s department of human resource management, explained both women and men face discrimination in customer-facing roles, but it was female staff who suffered the most.

“We found that women, even within a normal BMI range, suffered greater weight-based bias compared to men who were overtly overweight,” said Professor Nickson.

“The findings raise a number of practical implications, both ethically and from a business point of view. Ethically, the results of the study are deeply-unsettling from the viewpoint of gender inequality in the workplace, highlighting the unrealistic challenges women face against societal expectations of how they should look.”

The authors of the research called on companies to do more to ensure they take steps to remove such prejudices from the workplace and provide sensitivity training.

Mitrefinch offers a range of HR software solutions that can help support employees in the workplace.

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