Want to Be CEO? Your Weight Could Be a Problem

January 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Weight Loss for KidsYou know that being fit is good for your health.

But did you know it could affect your career too?

The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting story earlier in the week on stereotypes about weight in the workplace:

Being fit matters.

New research suggests that a few extra pounds or a slightly larger waistline affects an executive’s perceived leadership ability as well as stamina on the job.

While marathon training and predawn workouts aren’t explicitly part of a senior manager’s job description, leadership experts and executive recruiters say that staying trim is now virtually required for anyone on track for the corner office…

Executives with larger waistlines and higher body-mass-index readings tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace, both in performance and interpersonal relationships, according to data compiled by CCL. BMI, a common measure of body fat, is based on height and weight.

While weight remains a taboo conversation topic in the workplace, it’s hard to overlook. A heavy executive is judged to be less capable because of assumptions about how weight affects health and stamina, says Barry Posner, a leadership professor at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. He says he can’t name a single overweight Fortune 500 CEO. “We have stereotypes about fat,” he adds, “so when we see a senior executive who’s overweight, our initial reaction isn’t positive.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

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