Corporate party invitations and memos reinforce prejudice

by Cameron Edmond31 Oct 2013

HC has reported before on lingering sexism in the tech industry. However, the invitation to a Halloween party by US-based, shared work space Hacker Hideout demonstrates a more overt, immature stance on the topic.

Hacker Hideout is a ‘shared community centre’ where many tech start-ups can come and work together in the shared office space, Business Insider reported.

The party’s invitation depicts a woman in a “sexy” Halloween costume, and reads “Beer. Dance Floor. Shot Bar. Food Truck. Girls.”

The digital event page reveals that the party itself is called “Hackers & Hookers”.

Nicholas Carlson, writing for Business Insider, stated: “It’s stuff like this that gives credence to the idea that the technology industry is full of sexist men … women can’t be hackers? They have to be hookers, women who sell sex?”

However, sexism is not limited to the tech industry.

In what appears to be a patronising attempt to ‘help’ female employees,law firm Clifford Chance emailed a memo to female associates giving them ‘tips’ on how to behave and dress – such as not giggling, showing cleavage or wearing jingly jewellery, Lawyers Weekly reported.

The document, entitled Presentation Tips for Women, included statements such as “No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage,” and “don’t take your purse up to the podium”.

The memo also stated that women might have trouble with pronunciation, and should “practice hard words”.


Are these signs of corporate sexism? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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