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January 25, 2022

Thinner women earn bigger paycheques: Study

A new study suggests that employers seem to treat women exactly the way the fashion industry does – by rewarding very thin women with higher pay, while penalizing their average-size counterparts with a much smaller payday.  

Scale Skinnier-than-average men, on the other hand, cash smaller paycheques than their average-weight peers, according to the study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Thin women earned about $16,000 U.S. more a year on average. In contrast, thin men earned about $8,000 less than their more brawny male coworkers, a trend that tapers off only when the big guys’ weight hits the obese level, it seems. 

The researchers, Timothy Judge and Daniel Cable, told the Ottawa Citizen that much of the problem is the result of subconscious decisions based on entrenched social stereotypes.

Their report cites studies in which obese individuals were identified as "undisciplined, dishonest and less likely to do productive work."

Conversely, the researchers point out that employers and fellow employees associate values of self-discipline, thrift, hard work and positivity with thin individuals.

This isn't news, of course. Research conducted at the University of Alberta confirms that fat people are often labeled lazy simply because of their size.

Author Tanya Berry points out that stereotyping can influence the way people behave and that more awareness of these stereotypes is needed to slow down their negative effects.

What’s your experience? Man or woman, does size matter when it comes to your income level? Does the study reflect your real world experience?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...