Kit Steinkellner
March 07, 2015 9:00 am

As Metro.co.uk reports, a recruiting firm in the UK recently sent out a want ad for a secretarial position, and that listing has “come under fire” because, well, this is what it looked like:

The image is take from the poster for the 2002 film “Secretary” in which Maggie Gyllenhaal plays an office employee who engages in a sexual relationship with her boss, played by James Spader. The want ad was posted to the recruiting company’s Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

I don’t know about you guys, but if I were applying to a whole bunch of secretarial positions, I wouldn’t want to apply to a position that, in its listing, hyper-sexualized a non-sexual job and made me feel, as an applicant, like I would be regularly objectified. I would apply to the positions that advertised themselves as being professional and respectful places to work. That’s just me, but I kind of feel like that’s also a LOT of us.

Once social media caught wind of this campaign, the outrage reached a fever pitch. Here’s an example of the many, many Tweets fired off about this want ad:

Since the controversy arose, the recruiting company has deleted the want ad from the various places it was posted. Which is good. I mean, an apology and real acknowledgment that they understand why this was an offensive way to advertise a position would have been better. But let’s celebrate the small victories.

At the end of the day, we just want our workplace environments to be respectful, and that really does start with the hiring process. That’s a completely reasonable thing to ask for and it’s something we should all be able to expect.

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