Just when we may think that things are getting better for women in the workplace, we find out about this story. A new report claims that female employees at an Ernst & Young seminar were advised on how to dress and act around their male colleagues.
According to the Huffington Post, the training, called Power-Presence-Purpose or PPP seminar, took place in Hoboken, New Jersey, in June 2018, during the height of the #MeToo movement, and the 30 executives who had to sit through it were given some startling advice.
A woman who attended the workshop reported:
- The section about a woman’s appearance noted they needed to be polished, and have a good haircut, manicured nails, well-cut attire that complements your body type.
- They were also told, “Don’t flaunt your body ― sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women).”
- It also stressed the importance of women being able to signal fitness and wellness.
- Women were also told that if they want men to take them seriously “don’t show skin,” because if they did men were less likely to focus “because of sex.”
- Participants were also given a Masculine/Feminine Score Sheet, asking them to rate their adherence to what was considered masculine and feminine characteristics.
- Men’s characteristics included: acts as a leader, aggressive, ambitious, analytical, has leadership abilities, strong personality and willing to take a stand.
- Women’s characteristics included: affectionate, cheerful, childlike, compassionate, gullible, loves children and yielding.
- According to the attendee, they were told, “Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus,” while “Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.”
- Ernst & Young told the Huffington Post that the seminar was offered because women requested it, adding that it was given by “an external vendor” and it is “no longer offered in its current form.” They also don’t agree with how the seminar is being described, and insist it was highly rated by women who attended it.