Body Image Affecting Career Growth



If someone would’ve told me five years ago that I’d be utilizing my corporate career experience to support women with their body image, I wouldn’t believe it.

Tara Rivera_Body Image in the Workplace

Did you know that a women’s attitude toward her own body image can affect her career growth in the workplace?

In Western cultures, body image is increasingly becoming one of the determining factors in how we feel in the workplace, which means how women view their bodies in size, shape, and aesthetics. Research has shown that women have more body image concerns than men, which can cause high anxiety and tend to hide their bodies in larger clothing sizes.

“Concern with weight leads to a virtual collapse of self-esteem and sense of effectiveness.” – Naomi Wolf

This was me!

Why does this matter? Dove, the personal care brand, predicted that low self-esteem would impact the number of women in management by 2050. Women have traditionally been sexualized in the work industry, and beauty has been equated with competence. So, when we are critiqued about our bodies, our self-esteem takes a dive. Then we don’t go for that next job or promotion!

The pressure of attaining beauty also pressures women to spend more money in fear that their body image may affect their career growth. In fact, one study found that “women were over 16 times more likely than men to say they suffered employment-related discrimination because of their weight” (Roehling et al., 2007).

But the truth is, body image and body weight does not equate to competence, capability, and intelligence.

So what’s next? Let’s change our negative self-talk when we look in the mirror and stop placing a moral value on our bodies.

Who’s with me? I’d be happy to work with you to explore your personal experiences even further.

Check out my journey in “Making Peace with My Body“.


With gratitude,



Bacon, L., (2008). Health at every size. Benbella Books, Inc.

Elsesser, K. (2019). The link between beauty and the gender gap. Retrieved from Forbes

Roehling, M. V., Roehling, P. V., & Pichler, S. (2007). The relationship between body weight and perceived weight-related employment discrimination: The role of sex and race. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 71(2), 300-318. https://

Wolf, N. (2002). The beauty myth. First Perrenial Publisher.