When a company hires interns, some basic sane criteria are assumed to be common for selection. However, a bikini somehow does not seem to fit in the best of HR criteria anywhere.
A Czech Republic nuclear power-plant took sexism to the next level by coming up with a bizarre and cringe-worthy recruitment method when they asked ten female candidates to pose in a bikini to get selected for a two-week internship program with them.
Power generation conglomerate CEZ then asked Facebook users to rate the school graduates by liking their pictures so that the most popular candidate with the highest number of likes could be selected for the internship. According to the post, the woman with the greatest number of likes was supposed to be crowned “Miss Energy 2017” as reported by CNN.
Dboule Temelin Nuclear Power Station, located near the city of Ceske Budejovice in the South Bohemian Region of Southwestern Czech Republic, is supposedly the largest energy provider in the Czech Republic. They organized a photo-shoot with the scantily-clad high school graduate hopefuls who then posed in a cooling tower which was briefly closed for maintenance.
In a press release, CEZ likened the photo-shoot to its previous cultural enrichment programs, such as hosting the Bohemian Philharmonic at the plant in South Bohemia. The release said the experience was greatly enjoyed by the girls, who were required to wear hard hats and enclosed shoes at all times.
Local TV channel Jihoceske filmed a feature on the shoot, showing the models touring the power station which is about 90 kilometers (55 miles) north-east of the state of Bavaria on the German border.
The company compared the competition to its previous cultural endeavors, such as hosting the Bohemian Philharmonic Orchestra at the plant. “We think photographs are very tasteful,” they wrote in a comment on the post. “The combination of beauty and the industrial environment gives an interesting result.”
Following this sexist and demeaning way to hire candidates, the power plant faced huge public outcry on the social media.
The offensive post elicited almost 700 comments on Facebook who questioned the company’s ethics, with many users slamming the competition as sexist. “I thought this was the 21st century,” one user wrote.
— Annika J (@JonssonAnnikaC) June 27, 2017
Another commented: “You find the number of likes under half-naked picture of a young lady as adequate and/or tasteful criterion for a career opportunity that is promoted as ‘professional?'”
“The competition is absolutely outside the bounds of ethics. In 2017, I find it incredible that someone could gain a professional advantage for their good looks,” Petra Havlíková, a lawyer for human rights non-profit Nesehnutí and an equal opportunities adviser was quoted by DW.
— Dana Regev (@Dana_Regev) June 26, 2017
Two days after the bikini photographs were posted and backlash followed, CEZ took to Facebook to say that all 10 women would be offered internship and to offer a halfhearted apology. “The purpose of the competition was to promote technical education,” the post read. “But if the original vision raised doubts or concerns, we are very sorry.”
Earlier Russia used to host an annual beauty contest open to women working in nuclear industries or studying in nuclear-related subjects in Russia and former USSR countries. Women aged 18 to 45 would pose in front of a nuclear power plant.
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]