The silly season for sexism
Is this a season for sexism or a regression?
Maybe it's hormonal. Maybe it's S.A.D. (Seasonal Aberration Disorder.) Maybe there is something in the air around the spring equinox. It's the season for sexism. But we seem to be inundated with multiple sexist faux pas. This is even going beyond Donald Trump who causes offence by simple being on our radar.
Just when we thought we only had to deal with unconscious bias and second generation discrimination, we have seen a regression into outright sexism.
We seem to be dialling back in time.
Microsoft put its corporate foot into its mouth with such force, it seems to have dislodged some of its collective brain. Someone, it would seem, had the brilliant idea of inviting go-go dancers in scanty school uniforms to provide entertainment at their official after party in San Francisco during the Game Developer Conference. Microsoft the owner of Xbox are openly committed to increased involvement of women in the games industry, came away with egg on their male faces, as participants took to social media to complain.
— Xeni (@xeni) March 18, 2016
I have to tell you that my school uniform never looked like that. The nuns would have had a heart attack.
Pew research shows that 42% of gamers are women, and women over the age of 18 are one of the industry's fastest growing demographics. More women own games consoles than men. To meet this shifting market a strategic change in gender balance policies is required. Yet Microsoft did not meet its diversity targets set last year. The proportion of women in tech at Microsoft has actually declined from 17.1% in 2014 to 16.9% in 2015. Leadership representation for women is consistent at 17.3%.
Despite the automated apologies, other indications on Twitter suggests that the hiring of go-go dancers is not a one off and they have featured before in their parties.
Dancers in school uniforms is a cool recruitment strategy to attract women to a company, right? "A" for employer branding, guys
If you thought it couldn't get worse it actually does. The season for sexism carries on!
Raymond Moore Chief executive of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California and director of its tournament, resigned after making comments about female tennis players that caused a strong backlash from the top women players. Moore caused a stir when he made the following comment:
“In my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA, because they ride on the coattails of the men,” Moore said. “They don’t make any decisions, and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”
He then goes on to discuss their physical attractiveness. Serena William's response showed amazing restraint:
"Those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate."
There are multiple conversations on LinkedIn about the general decline in the quality of the content. Mark Babbitt asks whether we are "social selling or spamming" and Jan Allen mourns the death of LinkedIn.
Dorothy Dalton noted in addition to this the number of soft porn images in our streams and the use of what is supposed to be a professional networking site, for dating and what looks at times more like soliciting. LinkedIn needs to deal with images such as this at source and people need to stop sharing them.
Women traditionally play nice. We suck it up and try to reason. Or we just quit. But isn't it about time we just said - enough already? Women impact 80% of consumer decisions. We pay a pink tax on products and services. We earn 20% less. What is wrong with us that we let this happen?
Or as Lynne Everatt said in her very compelling LinkedIn Pulse post
It's time for a different approach driven by playfulness, irreverence and an acknowledgment that we are playing a game in which we have the super power to make up new rules as we go along.
If we don't do something soon, the silly season for sexism will go on unabated!
Find out how to attract, retain and groom women to strengthen your talent pipeline. Contact 3Plus
Senora is a serial social commentator and geek based in California
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
September 17th Latham Watkins Brussels 1200
In-house corporate event
Inclusive Leadership Workshop
September 20th EIGE Vilnius 0900
How to combat sexism in the workplace
Peer review of EU booklet authored by Dorothy Dalton
September 30th BD Foundation Webinar with Dorothy Dalton (online)
Topic: Leading with Emotional Intelligence
October 3rd JUMP Hub Brussels
Gender equality: how to build an attractive employer brand without falling into the trap of “gender washing”
Infrabel, rue de France, 9, 1070 Brusells
Open registration : http://jump.eu.com/hub-sessions/gender-equality-build-attractive-employer-brand-without-falling-trap-gender-washing/
October 15th NEHRA Event at AXA Brussels
Best Diversity and Inclusion Practices
October 22nd and 23rd Unleash Conference Paris
Open registration: https://unleashgroup.io
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Creating a caregiver-friendly environment can improve the workplace for everyone, which is always likely to improve performance too.read more
‘Be more confident’ is not a simple task. It doesn’t work like that. But there are little tips that you can use to help you on your path to confidence.read more
Networking is like gardening- it takes time and effort in order to make the relationships grow, they don’t just spring up overnight.read more