Career watch – Feb. 23, 2004

Tall tales

Taller workers tend to earn more than their vertically challenged counterparts, according to a study from the University of Florida. Analyzing data from four different studies, reports that University of Florida management professor Timothy Judge and study co-author Daniel Cable, a professor of business at the University of North Carolina, found that each inch in height amounts to about $789 more per year in pay. The researchers, whose work will appear this spring in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found that height was even more important than gender in determining income.

It pays to be your authentic self

More than 21,000 U.S. employers have sexual-orientation provisions in their nondiscrimination policies, and more than 4,400 offer domestic partner benefits, according to the latest Human Rights Campaign survey on gays and lesbians in the workplace. Companies located in cities and those in the IT industry are most likely to be supportive. Among them are Apple Computer Inc., Avaya Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Intel Corp.

“People involved in technology, particularly start-ups, tend to be folks with a higher level of education who have been exposed to all sorts of diverse people. The environment tends to be more creative and inclusive,” says Kirk Snyder, assistant dean of student affairs at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and author of Lavender Road to Success: The Career Guide for the Gay Community (Ten Speed Press, 2003).

Another key piece of information: Gay and lesbian workers do much better when they’re out on the job. Snyder’s survey of more than 300 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees shows that employees who are open about their sexual orientation earn as much as 50 per cent more than closeted individuals with the same responsibilities. — Julia King

Interview with Dave Bigelow

Age: 44

Title: Software developer

IT job history: Moved to IT from accounting 10 years ago. An experienced J2EE developer with specific skills in Java, Oracle and Red Hat Linux.

Employment status: Laid off on Dec. 2, 2003, from Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. in Cypress, Calif. Was hired as a contractor less than a month later by L.A. Care Health Plan, a nonprofit health maintenance organization based in Los Angeles.

Q: You landed a new IT job in less than 30 days. What was your job search strategy?

A: I posted my r

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