Success in business may literally be out of reach for some of the more vertically challenged members of society. A study of 1.3 million Swedish men, run by researchers in Europe and Australia, found that while the average Swedish man is 5’11”, men just one inch taller had a much higher chance of becoming the CEO of a major company. Further, CEOs that are around 6’3” make 4% more than their 6’ brethren.
Why is this? Samuli Knüpfer, an assistant professor of finance at the prestigious London Business School, co-author of the study, and presumably a pretty righteous Bond villain, claimed that people may base leadership skills on height. “It’s about the observability,” he said. “You directly observe someone’s height. It takes you a while to figure out cognitive and non-cognitive skills.” That’s right, little men, not only are you getting screwed over by women, but also by business opportunities too.
Now, the average height of an American male is between 5’7” and 5’8”, making all six feet of me feel pretty much secure in my future as a national business leader. Still, it digs at me that in Sweden, I wouldn’t get that extra 4%. It would almost makes me identify with all you short guys in America, but honestly I don’t want to get down to your level.