Fashion industries have made great strides in including plus-sized women in their clothing options. Certainly, plus-size models have more opportunities than 10 years ago. But, this doesn’t mean plus-size women are no longer discriminated against by others. You would think work experience would be the primary factor in hiring. However, a recent study proved that most businesses won’t hire a woman because of her appearance!
Modifying The Appearances
This recent study determined that it is more difficult for plus-sized women to be hired at a business. To test this, the study modified the faces of thin men and women to make them appear heavier.
The cheeks are now fuller, and the neck is bigger. However, these aren’t substantial changes. At first glance, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish the changes between the photographs. Unfortunately, however, the study revealed that some employers noticed the changes.
Employers were put to the test. Scientists presented participants with each photo separately—first showing the pictures of the men and then the women. To add more variety to the test, participants were also shown photographs of individuals with noticeable tattoos and piercings.
The additional photographs were used to test participants for any other biases, but what they gathered was not encouraging.
Too Much Discrimination
This is a troubling fact, but employers are more likely to hire women when they appear thinner, especially in customer-facing jobs (waitresses, receptionists, cashiers, etc.). Employers are less likely to hire plus-sized women— simply because of their appearance.
Did the study participants react this way with the male photographs? Unfortunately, no. Men didn’t face this same type of discrimination.
This study is creating more conversations, especially with the recent #TimesUp cultural movement. With more women earning leadership roles in their professions, the way employers will hire future employees will need to change.