BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 24 November, 2000, 13:32 GMT
Tall men and slim women 'earn more'
Two Ronnies and Stephen Fry
The taller the better when it comes to your pay packet
Tall salesmen are earning a whopping 25% more than their short colleagues, says research based on child development.

The study, by the London Guildhall University, stated that short men and plain or overweight women are taking home thousands of pounds less in their pay packets than their colleagues.

Those studied come from the National Child Development Study which tracks the lives of 17,733 people born in March 1958.

They were last interviewed in 1991 and their looks were assessed by their school teachers when they were aged seven and 11.

The long and short of it?
Plain men earn 15% less
Plain women earn 11% less
Tall men earn 5% more than average men and 10% more than short men
Fat women earn 5% less
Fat men earn as much as slim ones

London Guildhall University spokesman Stuart Hogarth said researchers also took into consideration any "measurement error" in the teachers' attractiveness ratings.

But he said: "Evidence from previous studies suggests that assessments of beauty by different individuals are quite uniform and only change slowly over time."

Across all professions tall men are head and shoulders above short blokes - earning an extra 1,000 for every 10,000 earnt by short men.


Looks affect men as much as they do women

Barry Harper, London Guildhall University
Short women are penalised 5% on average.

How handsome or pretty you are deemed to be also affects your pay packet - men considered to be unattractive earn 15% less, equal to 3,000 on a salary of 20,000.

While "unattractive" secretaries earn some 15% less than prettier colleagues, plain women on average, are penalised less than men, at 11%.

The study of 11,000 people aged 33 found height also has an effect on marriage prospects.

Last down the aisle?

By the age of 33, tall women and short men are less likely to be married.

Obese women are also more likely to be single though fat men are as likely to walk down the aisle as a slim bridegroom.

The study by Barry Harper from the university's Department of Economics recorded looks, height and obesity.

They were matched to pay rates and employment prospects in the first large-scale investigation of its kind in the UK.

Researcher Mr Harper said his findings confounded popular belief. "We found looks were as important for men as for women."

He added: "The effects of appearance are generally widespread suggesting they arise from prejudice and in particular, employer discrimination."

"There is an urgent need for business and government to review their equal opportunities policy to address this issue."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

21 Aug 98 | UK
A tall story
27 Apr 98 | UK
Standing up for tall people
04 Apr 00 | Talking Point
Does being short hold you back?
13 Jan 00 | Sci/Tech
Tall guys get the girls
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories