EY told women how to dress, speak and act around men during a training seminar
Female employees were told to look healthy and fit, with ‘manicured nails’
An anonymous EY employee has come forward about an "appalling" leadership training scheme she attended when working at the company last year.
The Huffington Post reported on the 55-page EY presentation, which encouraged women to "signal fitness and wellness" by having manicures and wearing flattering clothes.
Jane* attended the training course in the Haboken office in New Jersey last year, along with 30 other female executives.
Some of the things she experienced during the leadership seminar included:
– Women being told not to cross their legs or make face-to-face contact with men at work.
– Women being told not to flaunt their body as "sexuality scrambles the mind."
– Women being told to "signal fitness and wellness" by getting manicures and wearing clothes that flattered their bodies.
– Women being told not to wear short skirts.
– The speaker kept emphasising that women's brains are smaller than men's even though there is no link between brain size and function.
– Attendees had to rate how "masculine" or "feminine" they were before the training. Masculine traits included “acts as a leader,” “aggressive,” “ambitious,” “analytical,” “has leadership abilities,” “strong personality” and “willing to take a stand.” While, feminine adjectives included traits such as “affectionate,” “cheerful,” “childlike,” “compassionate,” “gullible,” “loves children” and “yielding.” None of the "feminine" adjectives were involved in leadership, which was the purpose of the training.
– Women being told their brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup, so it's hard for them to focus. But men's brains are more like waffles and that they're better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.
– The presentation said men and women had different speaking styles, saying women ramble and "miss the point", while men "hog air time."
The training happened in June 2018, when the #MeToo movement was at its height and during the year the company faced two sexual-harassment complaints.
EY told The Huffington Post it no longer uses this version of the presentation and said that the training was hosted by an "external vendor."