Idealizing specific body types in the workplace causes inequities

Published: 20 December 2023

When you think of a shopping centre Santa Claus, a specific body type comes to mind: a bearded, rosy-cheeked, older, white man. In fact, many work in fields where their bodies are intentionally governed by organizational systems intent on shaping them into an idealized image of a worker, argues Assistant Professor of Strategy and Organization Rohini Jalan. While all bodies are encouraged to undergo body work to conform, this affects different body types disproportionately. Jalan notes that women are among the groups most affected, often hiding their struggles with menstruation, maternity, and menopause in the workplace, which creates and perpetuates workplace inequities. 

For more insights into body work, how it has changed over time, and its growing importance, listen to the latest Delve podcast episode. 



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