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Are candidates wearing engagement rings high maintenance?

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An executive coach advising women not to wear engagement ring to job interviews in a Linkedin post has been slammed for being sexist.

In the now viral post,  Bruce Hurwitz wrote “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 realise that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!”

He went on in his post about how a woman got a job because she did not wear her engagement ring to her job interview, that is the only thing she did differently at her last job interview.

While this seems to be an useful advice, Hurwitz had come under fire for discriminating against women.

Grace Killelea, founder of Half the Sky Women’s Leadership Institute commented on the article  “This is ridiculous drivel. As the former SVP of recruitment and talent for a Fortune 500 company I would FIRE any firm who gave this kind of advice to candidates.  It’s biased. It’s ridiculous and it makes women sound petty and small. Welcome to 2016 Mr. Hurwitz you may want to join us here,” she wrote.

Another reader Tina Nicolai who works in talent acquisition, said  “If people are really sizing up talent by a ring, no ring, or the size of it. It’s a red flag!”

In response, Hurwitz told SmartCompany “I get the impression I am being attacked not for the advice but because it worked.  I will leave it to sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists to explain the reaction,”.

However, Newcastle Business School Associate Professor Rebecca Mitchell told SmartCompany that the post indicates there is still a large assumption in hiring processes that marital status is important.

“Assertiveness shown by women at work continues to lead to negative assumptions,” she said.

“But I think what’s really going on here is the idea that people assume if you have a ring you’ll have to take time off for the wedding, for personal matters, that sort of thing.”

In an attempt to explain he is not being sexist, Hurwitz added another post, What Jewelry not to wear in a job interview. In it he explained the effect of men wearing Rolex watches and other expensive items to job interviews.

He wrote the fancy items will lead to interviewers discussing the candidate’s attitude towards life and wealth.  He wrote that while one interviewer thinks a guy who wears an expensive watch is great, the other thinks the company will not have the budget to hire someone with such a luxurious life-style and the candidate ended up not getting the job.

Hurwitz also told SmartCompany that problem was not with himself as the messenger but with those hiring for positions in the first place.  “Employers should focus on candidates that understand the hiring process,” he added.

ALSO READ: The 13 oddest things done by desperate job seekers

Photo/ 123RF

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