<p>'85% of CEOs are white men’ candle</p>

'85% of CEOs are white men’ candle

Recruitment company launches candle that ‘smells like workplace discrimination’

‘We’ve captured what a world smells like without diversity,’ its creators say

Saman Javed
Tuesday 05 October 2021 14:38

A London-based travel recruitment company has launched a new candle that “smells like workplace discrimination”.

Created by Lightning Travel Recertuiment, it aims to raise awareness of prejudices towards women, ethnic minority groups and LGBT+ people at work and highlight the disproportionate presence of white men in leadership positions.

According to an analysis of Fortune 500 lists from 2000-2020 by The Society Pages (a social science project by the University of Minnesota), white men held CEO positions at 85.8 per cent of the world’s biggest companies in 2020.

The vanilla-scented candle, which is being sold by online retailer Flaming Crap, comes in a plain silver and white tin with the words “85% of CEOS are white men” written in bold.

“This needs to change,” the text underneath says.

Lightning Travel Recruitment said it chose a vanilla scent because it “captured exactly what a world smells like without diversity”.

“We should be investing in people regardless of their gender, race, sexuality or skin colour. We should be investing in people because of their capabilities, skills and who they are as a person.

“Unfortunately, it is still a thing, so we’ve captured exactly what a world smells like without diversity. Plain old vanilla,” a description of the candle on Flaming Crap’s website says.

Christopher King, CEO of Lightning Recruitment Travel told The Independent that the idea for the candle came about after they grew “tired of hearing that diversity is not an issue”.

“It’s not just an attack on white men. That one statement alone should be enough to be a call to action to people to look at why there isn’t diversity at the senior leadership levels,” they said.

“We wanted to call out the bullsh*t,” they added.

King, who is non-binary, said the candle comes with a booklet that highlights current workplace issues affecting LGBT+ people, women, and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

All profits from the candle will be donated to Moonlight Experiences – a queer black female-owned business based in Brick Lane.

Made from vegan soy wax, it has a burn time of 30 hours and retails for £14.99. It is available to buy here.

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