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  1. #1 Obesity and success in the business world 
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    I recently spoke at a forum on US economic output and organizational leadership. A topic that came up surrounded the lack of obese people in executive roles. A heated debate ensued, as you can imagine.

    One side argued that obese people are discriminated against, and that is the cause of the disparity. The other side argued that obese people are often lazy, and that is why they aren't in the highest level positions.

    I agreed with both sides.

    What do you think? When you see CEOs and VPs in your company or the leaders of other large companies you rarely, if ever, see people who are obese. There is no denying that there is a disproportionate number of obese people to Senior Executives in the US. Why?

    Finally, should obesity be added to the EEOC protected classes (along with age, race, gender, national origin, etc etc)?
    **** Obama and **** you too.
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  2. #2  
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    Obesity should NOT be added to the EEOC.

    People can not control their race, gender, or national orgin.

    People can control what they put in their mouths and how often they exercise.

    I know there are people with serious diseases and for that cases can be presented and decided.

    Obese people are not CEOs and VPs because it is sucha demanding job. You need to always be on your toes, not to mention you are typically an icon for your company. I personally am going to take a middle-aged average size man more seriously than if the old Jared from subway is giving me business advice.

    Lastly, I believe anyone can be successful, it does not matter your age, race, gender, orgin, or how you look.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member LogansPapa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB2012 View Post
    Obesity should NOT be added to the EEOC.

    People can not control their race, gender, or national orgin.

    People can control what they put in their mouths and how often they exercise.

    I know there are people with serious diseases and for that cases can be presented and decided.
    Triple Bingo. Same-Same-Same. :)
    At Coretta Scott King's funeral in early 2006, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, leaned over to him and whispered, "The torch is being passed to you." "A chill went up my spine," Obama told an aide. (Newsweek)
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    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    I predict that within 10 years, obesity will be protected and we will have obese people suing over not getting jobs or being terminated. Anyone who works for a big company knows the not-so-big-secret that if you fall into one of the EEOC classes today it is practically impossible to get fired. We all know those people that have no business keeping their jobs, but the company is scared to fire them. I predict obesity will soon be in that category.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member LibraryLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB2012 View Post
    Obesity should NOT be added to the EEOC.

    People can not control their race, gender, or national orgin.

    People can control what they put in their mouths and how often they exercise.

    I know there are people with serious diseases and for that cases can be presented and decided.

    Obese people are not CEOs and VPs because it is sucha demanding job. You need to always be on your toes, not to mention you are typically an icon for your company. I personally am going to take a middle-aged average size man more seriously than if the old Jared from subway is giving me business advice.

    Lastly, I believe anyone can be successful, it does not matter your age, race, gender, orgin, or how you look.
    (I just realized your the guy from Natchitoches that I welcomed the other day,)

    What about military? There are weight restrictions there. And there need to be.
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  6. #6  
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    My father is a retired Naval Officer, and one time he had to tell an enlisted man who was overweight to shape up or get kicked out. In the end he got into shape and is currently serving his country.

    When joining the military, you should know the conditions that it comes with, part of which is being in shape. I do not believe that the military discriminates, I believe they want the best people for the job.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB2012 View Post
    My father is a retired Naval Officer, and one time he had to tell an enlisted man who was overweight to shape up or get kicked out. In the end he got into shape and is currently serving his country.

    When joining the military, you should know the conditions that it comes with, part of which is being in shape. I do not believe that the military discriminates, I believe they want the best people for the job.
    If anyone should discriminate, its the military! A close second are Police and firefighters.

    How many cops are overweight? TONS! And that is unacceptable.

    **** Obama and **** you too.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member LibraryLady's Avatar
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    I agree about the military (and LEOs).
    My husband was Army and fought his weight for years. He used to take diuretics and saunas before weigh-ins. He screwed up his heart, his blood sugar and metabolism. He is a severe diabetic now.
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  9. #9  
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    I've been morbidly obese for most of my working life.
    I've been an executive and a regular staff person.

    To be brutally honest, if I hadn't lost the weight I seriously doubt I would be an executive today. For many reasons:
    1. Lack of self confidence. When you weigh in about 300 hundred pounds, your self esteem suffers, no matter what.
    2. Physical stamina. Long hours, seven day weeks, on call 24/7...exhausting and in order to be competitive, necessary.
    3. Projected image. I don't care how well you shop, where you buy your clothes, how neatly groomed you are, at 300 lbs I looked like/felt like a slob. Clothes bunch, don't fit well, are hard to find in style, you sweat too much etc...not exactly a calm cool professional....

    I have the same education, background, intelligence I had at 300 lbs...but THANK GOD for Gastric Bypass
    I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.
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  10. #10  
    I think it's really hard to advance as a professional if you are a major porker. Everything that Lurk said is true.

    Whether it's true or not, there will always be the perception that you care more about food than you care about your career. Let's face it - the rest of us skip lunch, eat on the run, or just blow off meals on the job in order to do work. That might not be a noble work/life balance but it does show a lot of commitment.

    Nobody gets to a really high weight without making food a priority beyond mere fuel. This leads to the idea that fat people are obsessed with food. Being fat also makes it much more difficult to physically run around and that has career impacts. Where I live and doing the kind of work I do, it's common to be invited to ride centuries in charity races or to be invited for a little confab during a cross-country skiing trip. Team building exercises typically involve white-water rafting or horseback riding or something similar. It's just the culture out here. A really fat person is going to look like a fool doing all that.

    So, yes - I think it does matter. Sometimes for mere prejudice (fat people don't look as good) and sometimes for legit reasons (fat people have a hard time keeping up in some careers).
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