Tags: huffpost | ernst | young | women | executives | gender equality

HuffPost: Ernst & Young Tells Female Execs How to Look, Act

Ernst and Young officials arrive at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018
Ernst and Young officials arrive at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Eric Jamison/AP)

By    |   Monday, 21 October 2019 05:01 PM

The accounting firm Ernst & Young, just weeks after reaching a settlement in a sexual assault lawsuit, is under fire after holding a workplace training course that is purported to have told women how they should look and act when they are working among men. 

In the training course, "Power-Presence-Purpose," held at the firm's office in Hoboken, N.J., in June 2018, the roughly 30 female executives attending were given guidelines that one female executive no longer with the company said made the seminar a "woman-bashing event," HuffPost reported Monday.

Women were advised to be sure they appear "polished" and have a "good haircut" and "manicured nails," and they wear "well-cut attire that complements your body type," HuffPost reported Sunday while sharing copies of paperwork that was handed out.

Women were also told not to be too sexy while at the workplace.

"Don't flaunt your body ― sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women)," part of the 55-page document from the seminar said. 

The woman, describing the seminar under the pseudonym "Jane," also said people attending were told women's brains are 6% to 11% smaller than men's brains. Further, they were told women's brains soak up information like pancakes getting soaked in syrup, while men's brains were described as being more like "waffles," meaning that the information collects in each square like syrup, so they can focus better, she said.

"Jane" further commented she was told if she wanted a man to pay attention while she was talking, she should not "show skin."

The attendees also received a "Masculine/Feminine Score Sheet," so they could rate how their own personal attributes fell on the list. 

Feminine traits included "yielding" and "childlike," while masculine traits included "ambitious," "makes decisions easily," and "acts like a leader."

Ernst & Young responded to the story that any "isolated aspects" about the seminar were "taken wholly out of context," and said it is proud of its long-standing commitment to women, and "anything that suggests the contrary is 100% false."

The company also claimed women in the office had asked for the course and it was well-received. 

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Just weeks after reaching a settlement in a sexual assault lawsuit, accounting firm Ernst & Young is under fire after holding a workplace training course that is purported to have told women how they should look and act when they are working among men.
huffpost, ernst, young, women, executives, gender equality
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2019-01-21
Monday, 21 October 2019 05:01 PM
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