Sunday, February 16, 2014

Must not hand out nail files and mirrors as swag

As Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs found out last weekend, wooing potential new talent with 'freebies' can be awkward business sometimes.

At a Harvard University conference aimed at female graduates interested in computer science, the bank handed out goodie bags featuring a number of arguably sexist 'swags'.

On top of the usual pen and notepads, attendees were given pocket mirrors and nail files with the Goldman Sachs logo, presumably as part of the company's strategy to lure more female programmers into the fold.

At least one attendee found this curious, and posted a picture of the branded freebies on Instagram with the caption, “Not sure if this is #sexyfeminism or gender stereotyping.”

Yuqi Hou's instagram was picked up by various news outlets, including the New York Times, which clarified that in addition to the vanity items, Goldman Sachs also provided T-shirts and key chains to hold headphone cords.

According to an annonymous spokesperson, the company was apparently 'encouraged' by organisers to "bring goodies that would appeal to a female audience".

To Goldman's credit, a swift apology was issued: “We are strong supporters of efforts to recruit and retain women in technology. We apologise if the gifts gave anyone offense."



Anonymous said...

You know, that is damn sexist. These people believe that men don't use mirrors or care about grooming habits.
A nail file is very useful for males and females working with key boards all day.

Brian from Virginia said...

For the love of... if you don't want the free stuff, then don't take the free stuff.

Anonymous said...

I believe the saying is "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".

It's pathetic when people feel the need to complain about free gifts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's come down to people complaining about something someone GAVE them! If your existance involves whining about nail files, you are a very sad individual.

stinky said...

An excellent employee test. What company would want to hire someone who thinks that whining about a nail file is the way to behave?