Is your weight affecting your salary?

Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal reports on the study out of the University of Florida, which found that women who weighed 25 pounds less than the norm made about $15,572 more than average-weight women.

Women who weighed 25 pounds more than average made $13,847 less — and their pay continued to decrease with their weight, although less sharply as weight climbed higher. (Source: Jezebel)


The average weight of a woman today with a height of around 5’4″ (my height!): (Source)

  • USA = 163 lbs (75 kg)
  • Canada = 153 lbs (69.4 kg)
  • UK = 147 lbs (66.7 kg)

So if you weigh 25 pounds less than the average, you will earn $15,572 more:

  • USA = 138 lbs
  • Canada = 128 lbs
  • UK = 122 lbs

But if you weigh 25 pounds more than the average, you will earn $13,847 less:

  • USA = 188 lbs
  • Canada = 178 lbs
  • UK = 172 lbs

And the spread of earnings between a woman who is 25 lbs lighter and a woman who is 25 lbs heavier than the average is a whopping:


Wow. That is almost $30,000 of a pay increase for skinnier women (or a pay cut for heavier women, depending on how you say it)


It sure looks like it, doesn’t it?

I have to say, I do encounter that in the workplace.

I mean, not myself personally, but I see through my friends who are full-figured that they seem to be passed over for a lot of things such as:

  • promotions
  • pay raises
  • better jobs
  • better roles within a job
  • responsibility
  • bonuses

And I’ve had a friend lament to me that she doesn’t feel like she gets taken seriously or respected (she’s a really smart, amazing woman by the way) at the workplace because of her weight.


Men were also penalized for violating stereotypes about ideal male appearance, but in reverse.

Thin guys earned $8,437 less than average-weight men.

But they were consistently rewarded for getting heavier, a trend that tapered off only when their weight hit the obese level. In one study, the highest pay point, on average, was reached for guys who weighed a strapping 207 pounds. (Source: Wall Street Journal)


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.