30 August 2016

What springs to mind when you see an engagement ring?engagement ring

Do you think about how high maintenance the woman wearing it is? Or do you think about the tension that could cause with women she meets who may not have as sparkly a diamond as her?

Of course you don’t, because that is ludicrous.

However, according to a career counsellor and recruitment company CEO this is exactly what people see. Tarring swathes of the population with the same brush, LinkedIn ‘influencer’ Bruce Hurwitz writes that when interviewing for a job you should lose the ring if you want to get the job!

To quote:

“When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance. When the woman at the office who has the largest diamond on her finger, sees that ring, she will realize that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!”

So the men will think you’re high maintenance and the women will see your rock as a threat to their place in the pecking order if it’s bigger than their own. What on earth?

He describes a story in which he makes this claim, the woman is disgruntled but ends up getting a job ‘because she took off the ring’. Claiming half a dozen women have had that experience during a job hunt.

Not only are these claims absurd and unsolicited, they are dangerous. Never in all of my years in business have I encountered this as even a part of a recruitment process. Can you imagine that being a part of the criteria of the employment process? Does she have a ring? Is it bigger than the rest of the team’s?

I would never want anyone coming for a job here to even consider that to be an issue! I honestly can’t say I would ever notice whether someone was wearing an engagement or wedding ring but, if anything, an engagement ring is a great conversation starter. Weddings, engagements and the like are to be celebrated; certainly not to be turned into a negative in this way!

It also has the potential to give women the wrong idea about why they didn’t get a job. Instead of constructive feedback, Bruce is suggesting that this a key reason. It unnecessarily muddies the waters and causes friction where it is absolutely not needed.

It is awful to also think that, if his stories are correct, people would make assumptions based on marital status. What a sad state of affairs that is.

I have never heard such misogynistic nonsense. Let’s not even go down the route of his description of an engagement ring as a transaction, effectively a bribe to get a bride down the aisle. Yes, really.

Scarily, the article has been posted all over the internet and across several websites!

He has backtracked and advised men not to wear expensive Rolex watches because employers may think they can’t afford him. Fascinating that his assumption of a man and his watch, but the assumption made of a woman wearing expensive and sentimental jewellery in the form of an engagement ring means that she is high maintenance. This speaks volumes to me about his own character more than anything else.

There is enough inequality in the workplace and the gender pay gap is a huge issue to be tackled already, without a sexist bigot raising issues that I doubt exist and causing more problems in the workplace than there already are.

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