Height may equal a successful business life

By Deanna Cabinian

A new study states that taller people have higher salaries in the workplace. Timothy Judge, a management professor at the University of Florida, and Dan Cable, a management professor in the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill, conducted the study.

“We discussed the ‘common’ belief that tall people somehow ‘get ahead’ and the ‘Napoleon complex’ idea and we decided to take a look at the linkage between height and work performance/income,” Cable said.

Cable said he and Judge conducted a meta-analysis of all the studies they could find on height and career success since the 1900s, which amounted to about 45 studies.

He said they conducted four new investigations linking height and income. Cable said 8,590 people participated in the study, which also controlled for sex, weight and age.

The results of the study revealed height does matter in terms of workplace success, Cable said.

The findings suggest a person who is 6 feet tall is predicted to earn $166,000 more over a 30-year period compared to a person who is 5 feet 5 inches.

He also said according to their study, height matters over the course of a person’s career, not just at the start of it. Results also showed height is somewhat more import for men in terms of career success, but it still affects women.

Cable and Judge found there is a stronger link between height and salary in jobs where the skills of persuasion are more important (such as sales and management), but it still is a factor in jobs that are not as socially-oriented, such as engineering, accounting and clerical work.

Cable said he and Judge did not focus on why height affects salary, but they did develop a model that would help explain it.

The model sows height affects self-esteem and job performance. These factors relate to salaries and career success.

Not everyone is buying into the study.

“It sounds kind of crazy,” said Ashley Castro, a sophomore journalism major.

“I’m 5-foot-2 and more self-confident than most people, I think. From personal experience and the jobs that I’ve had, I don’t feel like that rings true.”