Feeds

Prof: Fat ladies don't get to be CEOs, lardy blokes do

Greasy pole, glass ceiling stymie chubbette biz execs

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

New research carried out on Fortune 1000 CEOs indicates that fatcat biz kingpins are, in fact, fatter than the rest of us - but not if they're women. Counterintuitively perhaps, it appears that breaking through the glass ceiling is more difficult for the heftier lady.

"The results suggest that while being obese limits the career opportunities of both women and men, being 'merely overweight' harms only female executives – and may actually benefit male executives," said Mark Roehling, HR prof at Michigan State Uni.

Roehling's study didn't make the obvious mistake of asking the fatcats how much they weighed; nor of trying to persuade possibly-lardy biz chieftains to step onto the scales. Rather, highly trained weight guessers estimated the CEOs' poundage based on publicly-available photos.

According to Michigan State:

For the study, two groups of experts analyzed publicly available photos of CEOs from Fortune 1000 companies. The expert raters included individuals who were tested prior to the study to determine their accuracy in assessing body weight based on photographs, and medical professionals who by virtue of training and experience are experts at weight estimation.

It seems that among Fortune 1000 CEOs, actual full-blown obesity is rare, with just five per cent of males and females in this bracket - much less than in the general population. However, up to 61 per cent of the male CEOs were assessed as "overweight", which compares unfavourably with the US national average of 41 per cent for men of comparable age. Among men, biz fatcats are indeed fat.

The picture is very different for lady CEOs, however. At worst, 22 per cent of them were assessed as overweight - less than the 29 per cent which would have been normal for a group of US women of similar ages. While fat blokes can climb the greasy pole with ease, it seems this is much harder for chubby female execs.

Given that all this is based on wild guesses at body mass index (BMI), and that BMI is itself a deeply suspicious way of measuring fatness, the whole thing seems a bit, erm, insubstantial. For those interested, however, there's more from Michigan State here, and a pay article in the Journal Equal Opportunities International here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.