Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Something to Look At

Sometimes, living in Argentina brings out my inner Germaine Greer. This is a letter I recently wrote to the owner of a local business:


Congratulations on your XXXXXX -project: it seems like it is moving along well and will be very successful. I wanted to email you because of something in your most recent job ad that I couldn't let go by without a comment.

I know in Argentina it is a common practice to explicitly state the age, gender, "attractiveness" of the person you want to hire, and ask for a picture. But in the States and in Europe, this has become socially and professionally unacceptable.

I would have assumed that as XXXXXX caters to U.S. and European clientele, and as the ad is going to be seen by many (hundreds?) of expat women, you would hold yourselves to more modern hiring practices.

You have every right to hire whomever you want, and post whatever ad you want- but as a potential professional female U.S. client, it makes me uncomfortable doing business with a company that almost openly states it will hire based on looks, gender, and age. (And a little ironic given the open political support for a "progressive" presidential candidate).

I don't want to go on some feminist rant- I just thought I should share my point of view that you might not have gotten elsewhere. If the ad irked me, I might not be the only one.



****Update ****
In fairness to the American involved in the project, he responded to my letter saying that he will bring the issue to his Argentine partners. Kudos.


quang said...

wow. i was clueless that stuff like that happpens. nice way to address it.

Jonathan said...

this had to be said...i'm glad they listened

Fabiano Goldoni said...

Some schools in Argentina asks the students to bring a family photo with parents and grandparents before admit him/her. They want to SEE the genealogical background of the family. Can you imagine something more racist?

Julia said...

Unbelievable. I had no idea. I'm becoming less and less surprised, however.