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Women Are Warned That Confronting Men Will Make Them Seem 'Threatening' In Horrific Advice To Female Office Workers

Women Are Warned That Confronting Men Will Make Them Seem 'Threatening' In Horrific Advice To Female Office Workers

Female employees at a top accounting firm have been told not to wear "short skirts" or flaunt their bodies in a shocking document.

The advice was given to Ernst & Young staff at a training seminar where women were warned not to "ramble or miss the point" during meetings, and avoid speaking in "shrill" tones.

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The advice, which was shared in a 2018 briefing, also suggested that women should never confront men head-on during meetings, as their male colleagues might feel threatened.

It serves as further proof of the daily challenges women still face in the workplace, and instead of fixing the system, companies still look to 'fix' women's behaviour instead.

It is honestly exhausting.

The seminar from an external company suggested how women should and shouldn't dress. (Credit: Pexels)
The seminar from an external company suggested how women should and shouldn't dress. (Credit: Pexels)

Written by an external consultant, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this 55-page document was a classic example of mansplaining - but no, even worse, this advice was delivered by a woman.

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Ernst & Young hired external vendor Marsha Clark to help "build stronger, high-performing teams," according to the presentation.

The document, called Power-Presence-Purpose, was just one of many seminars that the firm offered to men and women, Ernst & Young told Huffington Post.

It was leaked by a previous employee 'Jane' (not her real name), who passed it on to Huffington Post, because she was appalled by its contents. It details stereotypes including how women "often ramble and miss the point".

Ernst & Young in the New Jersey firm provided the training to staff. (Credit: PA)
Ernst & Young in the New Jersey firm provided the training to staff. (Credit: PA)

'Jane', who is in her forties, also took notes during the seminar, held in Ernst & Young's office in Hoboken, New Jersey, in June 2018. These notes shared with Huffington Post include advice from the speaker on how to interact with men in the workplace.

It included a suggestion that women should not directly confront men in meetings, because men will perceive this as threatening.

The notes also said women should never be too aggressive or outspoken and sit at an angle to a man with their legs crossed when talking to him - face-to-face would be too threatening.

Honestly, we are speechless.

Ernst & Young says the comments have been taken out of context. (Credit: Pexels)
Ernst & Young says the comments have been taken out of context. (Credit: Pexels)

Since women joined the employment market - you know when we were finally told it was OK to - we have been told how to act to get ahead of our male peers, which completely misses the gender disparity point.

This document highlights just that, going on to tell ladies never to speak in a shrill tone.

It advised them to look fit and healthy with manicured nails and to wear clothes that flatter but to ensure skirts aren't too short, because "sexuality scrambles the mind".

It added that women should "minimise distractions from your skill sets [...]".

Because obviously showing skin to others means we can't possibly be taken seriously.

Parts of the seminar seem to suggest that women ramble, whereas men believe more in what they are saying. (Credit: Unsplash)
Parts of the seminar seem to suggest that women ramble, whereas men believe more in what they are saying. (Credit: Unsplash)

The participants in the seminar were also given a masculine/feminine scoresheet that gave stereotypes of men and women's behaviours, with masculine traits such as "ambitious," "leadership abilities" and "analytical". Female traits however included "affectionate," "childlike," "gullible" and "yielding".

It asked staff members to rate how they rank at home and in the workplace.

When the Huffington Post contacted Ernst & Young, a spokesperson said the program has been under review for several months and "is no longer offered in its current form," last delivered in June 2018. Marsha Clark however declined to comment on the presentation.

Ernst & Young added that "any isolated aspects are taken wholly out of context," and that it disagrees with the way the content of the seminar has been characterised by Huffington Post.

The company, who has now removed this version of training, in the same breath defended its contents by adding that women who participated in the program rated it highly.

They also shared quotes from female colleagues, including one who took the PPP seminar four years ago.

EY senior executive Stacey Moore, said in a statement provided by company: "Professionally, PPP was the most impactful leadership program that I have had the opportunity to participate in and I have always been incredibly proud and humbled to have been a part of it.



Tyla has approached Ernst & Young for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, Real, Life

Lauren Bell

A freelance journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a journalism degree, Lauren started off in real life magazines before moving into the fashion and lifestyle sector at the likes of Mail Online and Sun Online. Contact Tyla: [email protected]

 

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