Understanding Barriers to Workplace Equality: A Focus on the Target’s Perspective

Research team

  • Stuart W. Flint

  • Laetitia Mulder

    University of Groningen
  • Susanne Tauber

    University of Groningen

The Challenge

In response to employees’ prolonged participation in the work process, the past three decades have seen a steady increase of workplace health promotion programs. Overall, workplace health promotion programs aim to promote employees’ health and fitness, thereby decreasing productivity impairments associated with poor health and unhealthy lifestyles.

Previous research has predominantly focused on the impact of workplace health promotion programs on effectiveness, employee productivity, and cost-savings, identifying a range of barriers to engaging in workplace health promotion. However, a paucity has examined potential stigmatization and discrimination, in particular weight stigma and discrimination.

The  Approach

Addressing the gap in research, we will examine the possibility that workplace health promotion programs inadvertently facilitate stigmatization and discrimination of overweight people at the workplace by modifying employees’ attributions of controllability of weight.

This study examines:

  • Associations between workplace health promotion programs and attributions of controllability for health-related outcomes
  • The impact workplace health promotion programs of focusing on individual rather than organizational responsibility elicits stigmatization of overweight people
  • Workplace health promotion programs’ that focus on attributions of weight controllability and weight-based discrimination in the context of promotion decisions in the workplace

University of Groningen