In this article, we will explore what makes a body-positive workplace and how you can contribute to it.
Why Body Positivity Matters in the Workplace
According to the study “The Real Cost of Beauty Ideals” commissioned by the beauty company Dove, harmful beauty standards cost the US economy around $305 billion annually, with $221 billion in costs resulting from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Additionally, $501 billion is lost due to appearance discrimination, including weight, skin colour, and hair.
Another study by Vanderbilt Law School in 2014 supports this data. According to the study, slightly overweight women earned $9,000 less than their colleagues of average weight, and severely overweight women earned $19,000 less. While half of male CEOs would be overweight, only 5% of female CEOs would be.
Johanna Geisler, Team Lead at YOYABA and Corporate Influencer, has experienced weight discrimination in her career, not personally but in recruiting processes with previous employers.
“The worst thing was actually that someone was cancelled in the last phase because they didn’t fit into the team’s image – because of their body weight. For me, that was one of the decisive reasons for quitting because I would never want to work for such a company.”
Therefore, it is crucial to keep in mind the importance of a “body-positive” workplace and actively work towards it. Do you perceive your company as inclusive in terms of body weight? Here are some starting points by Johanna Geisler that could be interesting for your company and discussed with your HR department: