A Human Rights Watch report highlighted the blatantly discriminatory culture in job advertisements in Chinese government and private companies.
Job advertisements in the country are either open to “men only” or they specifically state that in order to qualify for the job, women need to have certain type of physical attributes. The advertisements also lure men into job and promise to give them “beautiful girls” or “goddesses” as co-workers.
The non-governmental organization said it skimmed thorough job advertisements of different private and government sector jobs since 2013. The research found biggest tech companies in China, Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Huawei, among others, also adopted the sexist advertisement culture.
Despite e-commerce company Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma’s statements on the importance of women in corporate leadership roles, the company has preferred men in job advertisements. The company has also used female employees as a way to attract other male employees.
The report cited an ad by the company that advertised a vacancy for a “restaurant operations support specialist.” However, the ad mentioned “men preferred” for the job opening.
Another job advertisement mentioned female applicants were needed who were between 28 to 35 years of age and they must “possess fine personal image and qualities.”
Tencent, a multinational conglomerate company which runs China's biggest messaging app, also had similar job postings. In March 2017, the company posted an ad for a sports content editor and said “strong men who are able to work nightshifts” would be preferred.
In another incident, Tencent posted an ad that described an ideal applicant as, “high productivity, hardworking and swift, able to bear relatively high workload and pressure, male students preferred.”
Chinese internet company Baidu also followed the same sexist culture. The report cited a Weibo video posted online by the company’s official account in which a male employee was portrayed being really happy. Why? Because he could “go to work with beautiful girls.”
Another job opening by the company read, “Baidu 2017 Campus Recruitment officially starts! Free working environment, top-notch collaborating team, excellent technological skills, simple interpersonal relations, rich social activities, pretty front desk girls, and strong security [guard] men.”
The country’s telecommunications giant Huawei posted a sexist ad in 2013 that read, “No matter how beautiful the scenery [on Huawei’s campus] is, beautiful girls are needed. On the Open House Day [a recruitment fair], other than the awesome and proud Huawei leaders who will speak warmly with everyone, there will also be beautiful Huawei girls accompanying everyone.”
With a population of 1.3 million, the country is the world’s second largest economy and the sexist and discriminatory culture is widening the gender gap.
The report also stated that the government rarely penalized any company for sexist ads. At most they are just told to change the advertisement. However, citizens can register a complaint at the Bureaus of Human Resources and Social Security and report the discriminatory behavior.
It also urged national and foreign companies to “adopt policies prohibiting all forms of gender-based discriminatory job ads.” The report urged the Chinese government to revise regulations that discriminate against women in the hiring process.
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