Thursday, October 21, 2010

Women in the Workplace

The past few months, two somewhat conflicting reports about women (and their looks) in the workplace have come out.

In August, Reuters reported that attractive women were being overlooked for certain jobs. The study by the University of Colorado Denver Business School published in the Journal of Social Psychology concluded "Attractive women faced discrimination when they applied for jobs where appearance was not seen as important. These positions included job titles like manager of research and development, director of finance, mechanical engineer and construction supervisor."

Then, earlier this month, the New York Post reported that skinnier women earn significantly more than those who are of average weight or classified as obese. The study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that "being 30 pounds below the average American female weight of 164 pounds can result in roughly $10,719 more in annual salary -- above the average woman's pay of $40,000. Being 30 pounds overweight can mean making $9,873 less than average." I think that this may be more of a case of skinnier people being more energetic, healthier, and confident than the case of discrimination, but it is interesting indeed.

Lastly, the EU parliament voted in favor of a number of measures to strengthen maternity protection in Europe including a 20-week full maternity pay for new mothers according to HR Magazine. The proposal also contains "rules employers will be banned from dismissing pregnant workers until six months after the end of their maternity leave."

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