Saudi Aramco rejects overweight women: report

Says excess weight affects work productivity

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Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, has rejected several female job candidates because they were deemed to be too heavy, a local press report said on Thursday.

An unnamed official from the human resources department told Saudi daily Al-Watan that the company applies strict weight standards for employees, and that even a slight excess of its height-to-weight criteria would disqualify a candidate.

"Ideal weight is a sign of fitness and good health," the official said, adding that being overweight could lead to many chronic diseases which, in the long run, could affect performance at work.

Weight is only the first of three medical acceptance criteria. He said certain diseases would also exclude an applicant from working at the oil company, the largest in the world.

An estimated 10 out of 80 women were turned away for tipping the scales, Al-Watan reported.

Many of the rejected applicants, all university graduates, said they were in good health and that a few extra kilograms would not affect their performance at work.


(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).