Feeds

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

Greasy pole, glass ceiling stymie chubbette biz execs

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know
OMG! Gravity's totes amazeballs. Calm down, George Clooney, not your film
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ
Plus: It's OPEN WARFARE in the Linux greybeard world
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'
'I have benefited from the sacrifice of others'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.