Just when you thought women couldn't be shat upon from any greater height it turns out there's even more coming, this time they're getting grief for wearing jewellery.
First swimwear, and now interview attire. A recruiter giving advice on LinkedIn has suggested that woman not wear their engagement rings to job interviews because it will hinder their chances of employment.
Bruce Hurtwitz, 'executive recruiter' and 'career counselor' posted a blog last week, devoted entirely to this topic. The post was entitled 'When interviewing for a job, lose the ring!'. The post has been read nearly 150,000 times.
Hurwitz has some baffling reasons for this. Firstly he thinks men will think it means a woman is high maintenance. His second reason is that if "the woman at the office" whose role is unspecified, sees the diamond ring, she might get competitive.
When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance. When the woman at the office who has the largest diamond on her finger, sees that ring, she will realize that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!
This makes sense. After all diamonds, a status marriage, and material wealth, are a woman's only concerns in life.
In the blog post, Hurwitz claims he gave this advice as a recruiter. Despite not having seen the client perform in an interview scenario, he told her to 'Lose the rock'. Hurwitz makes clear that he said this even though the client was a woman, as were his five colleagues.
Snaps for Bruce for being so brave!
Want to find out what's more depressing? Hurwitz claims his advice worked.
She told me that the only thing she did differently at her last job interview, which resulted in the job offer, was not to wear the ring.
So isn't that a kick in the teeth?
Hurwitz says this has happened at least half a dozen times for (his completely anonymous) female clients who found success after losing 'the rock'. As to the morality of this advice, Hurwitz has got it covered.
Not wearing an engagement ring is not lying. Being engaged is not a "protected class" like gender, religion, or even marital status. After all, just because you are engaged does not mean you are actually going to get married. So not telling an employer that you plan to get married, is fine. It is none of her business. It would only be relevant if, let's say, you needed some time off in the not too distant future.
The story doesn't end here. Two days later, Hurwitz wrote a follow up piece after being spammed with criticism and also some support. His defence was that he was referring to showy engagement rings, akin to the Hope Diamond.
(When asking female colleagues in the indy100 office if this was a good diamond, they all fell on the floor in delight and shrieked that with this diamond they would finally find happiness, and to hell with their careers.)
Hurwitz wrote his second piece because he wanted to clarify some things. He explained that engagement rings don't belong to women until they say 'I do'. Then he explained how commitment works.
When a man gives a woman an engagement ring, he buys the least expensive ring that he believes it will take to get her to agree to the proposal. For women it may be a symbol of everlasting love, but for men (when it is expensive) it is akin to a business transaction.
Beautiful. In case any of us were confused about how this relates to employment, Hurwitz elaborated.
So when a male interviewer sees what appears to be an expensive engagement ring he assumes the wearer is, as I said in the article, 'high maintenance.' He may be willing to have a high-maintenance woman in his personal life; he doesn't necessarily want one in his office.
How big of male recruiters to allow a high maintenance woman into their life, really, we don't like to throw around words like 'hero', but these men deserve a parade.
Just to show he's not sexist, Hurwitz added that a man wearing an expensive watch would be considered too pricey to be hired, so the interviewer would hire a different qualified man with a less fancy watch. Sounds legit.
Hurwitz again defends himself by stating that although this is not what he would like the recruiting world to be like, unfortunately it is.
In a perfect world we would be judged solely on our professional qualifications. It is not a perfect world. And our behavior is relevant in a job interview. Behavior includes what you wear to an interview...
Don't go away yet, because there's a depressing epilogue to this story.
Hurwitz wrote a final piece to the trilogy in which he recounts how, without meaning to do so, he went viral on the internet, for reasons of good publicity and bad. Ever the entrepreneur, Hurwitz uses his final installment on this subject, to write a 'how to' for writing blog posts that will go viral.