Tech firms in China are raising eyebrows by reportedly hiring “pretty girls” to motivate programmers who are “are mostly male and terrible at socialising.”
In a scheme that has received complaints for being sexist towards both women and pedalling stereotypes of programmers, “internet companies across China are embracing programing cheerleaders, pretty, talented girls that help create a fun work environment” according to the state-run Trending China Facebook page.
The role involves “buying programmers breakfast, chitchatting and playing ping-pong with them” according to the page managed by China News.
The news page doesn’t detail how many tech firms have introduced the scheme, but photos show girls being taught how to be “motivators”, singing in the office, and playing ping-pong.
It went on to say that a firm has said the scheme has “greatly improved [...] job efficiency and motivation” of its "mostly male" programmers who are "terrible at socialising".
One image shows a female programmer, but it doesn’t appear that firms have fired male cheerleaders.
Commenters on Facebook were not impressed by the idea.
“What a ridiculous job, why reduce women to only be valued by their looks and to assist males. Let them have a job at the desk using their minds!” wrote one woman.
“What about female coders? Do these guys hire male “motivators”?” said a male commenter.
“Sexism, exploitation and stereotypes abound!!” wrote a man.
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