Cocoa can admit that she never really considers what it's like to live, socialize and work as someone facing a different form of discrimination. Perhaps the latter is because, as a citizen - a black citizen - of the good ol' United States of America, I do not believe that any form of discrimination is worst, more widespread or long-term than that faced by black Americans.
In just five short years spent as an employee, I have been on several interviews where the hiring manager is sincerely shocked that that name and that 'accent' and that resume belongs to that woman sitting across their desk. Also, I am more than familiar with the "you'll meet with so-in-so for 30 minutes," only to barely get three minutes before a silent "so-in-so" sends me back to the lobby. All this said, I am quite familiar with race-based discrimination on the job. Yet, after watching Brent get sidetracked on the Apprentice, I began to wonder how a stroll through the office in his shoes would feel.
If interviewing/securing a job as a black person is sometimes difficult, what would it be like to face the same feat while overweight or (even worst?) overweight and black...
While I have never been "fat" or "chubby," I think I'd be correct to assume that size discrimination is real and prevalent. Hell, out of two trading floors chock with a few hundred workers, not one - man or woman - is obese. One guy is heavy, but he is not a trader, sales person or "a reflection of the boss" assistant. Nope, he works in IT.
A letter from a reader at workingwounded.com, sadly sums up the experience of interviewing with extra poundage:
There is a hidden job discrimination issue that is rarely discussed - bias against overweight people. We're not given the same opportunities to advance within the company or make as much money as those of "normal" weight. We're thought of as less productive than our thinner colleagues.
I presently weigh 320 pounds and have been unemployed for two years. I can see them look at me in interviews in that "You are a fat pig" way, and I know that they can't wait to get me out of the office.
I work (or I am trying to work) in the media industry, so I realize that image is important. They want attractive people working for them. I know this because I wasn't always obese and, when I was thinner, I usually either got the job or at least a second interview. As I've gained weight, those days are over.
...If you can't take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of our company?" is the general thinking. However, usually they'll just lie and say to the candidate that they found someone with more qualifications.
...There are some countries that have made size discrimination illegal, but it is still that dirty little secret that companies won't admit to in their hiring practices. It's only when you lose weight, when you truly realize just how bad people have been treating you.
If being totally honest, I can say that I have always wondered how some people could present themselves as fitness trainers when they are out of shape and/or very much overweight themselves. Matter of fact, there are certain gyms in NYC with written policies against overweight employees working as fitness experts. Do you think such policies are fair? Do you think they are wrong? Are there any circiumstances under which a company should be able to refuse one employment based on their size?
Thoughts? Opinions? Experiences