Was This Goldman Sachs Promotion Sexist?
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that at least one attendee at Harvard's Women Engineers Code conference was somewhat put off by some of the promotional products distributed there. The items in question were nail files and mirrors provided by Goldman Sachs. The complaining attendee featured in the Times story questioned whether the items are "sexy feminism" or gender stereotyping.
While so far this is a small issue, amounting to one conference attendee politely complaining on Instagram, it did result in a piece in the New York Times addressing possible sexism in the marketing, and has also been picked up by popular news site Wonkette. The case could be made then, that any goodwill Goldman gained with the promotion could be canceled out by people reading the articles questioning the promotion online. In fact, given the two sites' large readerships, the P.R. damage has the potential to be worse than the gain.
It's worth noting that Goldman Sachs was "encouraged to bring goodies that appeal to a female audience," according to a source cited by the Times. Goldman Sachs also provided gender-neutral items such as T-shirts and key chains at the event. Additionally, Goldman issued an apology about any offense the items might have caused.
What do you think? Was this promotion sexist, harmless, or something in-between? Let us know through the poll in the upper right, or in the comments section below.