Italian sexism argues over job ad asking for swimsuit image | Italy
The Italian Ministry of Labor has opened an investigation after a company looking for a receptionist under the age of 30 asked job applicants to include a photo of themselves in swimsuits with documents proving their references.
The advertisement, posted on several specialized job sites by a Naples-based security company, stated that the candidate had to be a woman, aged 30 or less, fluent in English and having her own car and “a character sunny with an attractive appearance”.
“We ask that you send a full photo in a bathing suit or similar,” the ad continued for the $500-a-month job. The incriminating line was later removed and the ad reposted, but not before a screenshot was widely shared on social media, sparking outrage.
“They want a picture in a bathing suit? What absurd publicity, ”said Chiara Marciani, the Napoli labor adviser. “It’s outrageous, and for a number of reasons – starting with the search for a woman under 30 and pay that’s absurdly insufficient for the commitment and duties the position requires.”
The company, based in the business district of Naples, told the Italian press that the request for a photo of a swimsuit was “inappropriate” and the result of “mere distraction” by the “inexperienced worker”. who wrote the ad and who didn’t I don’t understand their gender equality policy.
Labor Minister Andrea Orlando has asked inspectors to investigate.
“The problem of sexism persists…much more work needs to be done on gender equality,” Marciani said. “There are so many problems that need to be solved, especially in a city like Naples, which has a very low rate of working women.”
According to 2019 OECD data, less than half of all Italian women of working age were employed. The situation has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, with women disproportionately affected by job losses.
Many women are forced to quit after becoming pregnant as they are unable to balance work and family life, with lack of affordable childcare facilities and rigid working conditions being among the main reasons.
Sexism has also been rampant in billboards across Italy, prompting the Senate last year to ban advertisements on streets and all forms of transport deemed sexist or discriminatory.