Is it true? Do taller men make more money than short men? How much more unfair can things get for short men? Is there anything you can do about it?
A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Standing Tall Pays Off, confirms that an extra inch of height can equate to roughly an extra $800 a year:
The study controlled for education, experience, to isolate height as the differentiator.
The pay gap can be attributed to height bias. The short of it is, that people are hardwired to see height as a measure for health, wealth, power, and intelligence.
Our brains have been conditioned through millennia to make quick decisions for survival.
These judgment calls were very valuable in survival mode situations when there’s no time to make rational decisions. Take too long to make a decision and your very life could be on the line.
How does this apply to the modern business world?
Since height is an indicator for power, this creates the perfect environment for taller men to obtain positions of power and leadership – and higher compensation. How can you benefit from height bias? Stand 1-2” taller at work to optimize your height at work so you don’t get overlooked.
Proper fitted clothing and physical fitness can also help you appear taller. Good posture is very important here. When we slouch over our desks and stare neck bent at our phones or posture suffers. Poor posture can also decrease your self-confidence which makes you look weak and incompetent. Poor posture is responsible for one to two inches in lost height. Practicing good posture which also includes pulling shoulders back neck upright and chin down can help you feel more confident while concurrently boosting testosterone and reduce cortisol, a stress hormone.
Height bias is so prevalent that 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs are at least 6 foot tall and shorter people make up the majority of lower level jobs.
Height bias is here to stay and the pay gap that goes along with it too. There is power in understanding that you can do something about it and take control over your social mobility. Looking your best and standing tall can have a tremendous impact on your confidence and how others treat you. Increase and establish a presence and you have people treating you as you would like to be treated.
Invest in yourself. Gain confidence, make more money, and increase attraction. Stand 1-2 inch taller to increase social confidence.