Job hunting is a nightmare at the best of times, from the ‘entry level’ jobs that still ask for four years of experience, to roles that advertise frustratingly-vague ‘competitive’ salaries.
So sometimes, just for a moment, you can become distracted from the fact that sexism is a huge problem in the workplace – that is, until you find out that some recruitment agencies still think it’s acceptable to advertise jobs for “beautiful” women only.
Yep, this just happened: A job ad for a PA and flight attendant on London-based recruitment site Matching Models said that female applicants must have “brown hair” and “B-C cup” breasts to apply.
And that’s not the only advert the company has come under fire for – many others describe how women must look in order to apply for the role.
Another advert on the site – this time for F1 hospitality staff – says applicants must have B-C cup breasts (they’re real imaginative about the whole bra-size thing), long blonde hair, blue eyes, and be “stylish and classy” too.
You can also apply to be a “sexy driver” for a “well-known business tycoon”.
Not only is the site aware of its controversial job advertising, but seems totally open and unashamed about it, too. Its website says:
“It is almost politically incorrect to request someone to work for you that is both attractive as well as professionally equipped with the right set of skills.
“However, our company understands the importance of having the right people representing your company, because after all, first impressions count,” the site reads.
“With a database of over 5000 models around the world, we are able to suit any requirements by providing locally based staff.
“We recruit and staff for a great number of positions such as flight attendants, PAs, hostesses, waitresses, bartenders, sales and promotional staff. Our clients include Louis Vuitton, MTV, F1 and Harrods.”
Exhausting, right? But trouble is, this isn’t illegal.
Under the 2010 Equality Act, it’s against the law for employers to discriminate based on age, marital status, number of kids or plans to have kids, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.
But they can specify a clothes size if they can prove it’s totally necessary to the role.
Regardless, responses to the adverts have been scathing. According to the BBC, The Equality and Human Rights Commission called the advert “appalling, unlawful and demeaning to women”.
Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, also told The Huffington Post: “Ads like these are straight out of the 1970s. It is extraordinary that they are taking this approach and almost certainly falls foul of equality legislation.
“If we ever wonder why the battle for gender equality hasn’t been won, this is a timely reminder.”