Women who constantly worry about their weight could throw ruin their career prospects, according to a new report.
Almost a sixth of women say their lack of confidence as a result of their body shape, which in turn is having a negative effect upon their working life.
Nearly half of the women questioned also said they felt inadequate in the workplace as a result of these insecurities.
Some 15 per cent said anxiety about the way they looked had hindered their career progression. One in five of the 445 women questioned admitted that body image worries impacted their daily life, according to the survey carried out by Dove.
Linda Papadopoulos, psychologist and author, said: ‘This doesn’t come as a surprise at all. When you are anxious about something, be it your weight or otherwise, it becomes the predominant thing on your mind.
‘This would understandably affect your working life and your focus on your career. When women grow preoccupied with their appearance, they start to think about themselves in the third person.
‘They start thinking what would a guy see, or what would another woman see.’
The findings concur with those of research in Iceland.
In May, research showed that carrying extra weight was damaging to the employment rate and pay of women. Yet not only were men’s job opportunities and salaries unaffected by weight gain, they benefited from it slightly.
University of Michigan professor Edward Norton, who conducted a study in the U.S. in 2009, said: ‘There is something in western society that seems to penalise women for being overweight.’
A University of Florida study found that women 25lb above average weight earned £8,600 a year less than those who weighed the national average.