Report Uncovers Sexist Language in Chinese Tech Company Ads

By: Marie Donlon

A report from the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recently revealed that a number of Chinese tech firms have been using sexist recruitment language in job advertisements.

Such practices, according to the group, have played a role in keeping women from working at tech companies that publish “male only” advertisements. Others asked for female applicants who were “trim” and “aesthetically pleasing.”

As such, tech companies like Tencent and Alibaba have apologized and promised to “conduct stricter reviews.”

Researchers found that advertisements contained language that depicted women as being less capable than men and thus not committed to their jobs.

Likewise, despite recruitment efforts calling on “beauties” and “goddesses” to join their companies, Alibaba believes that the number of women in managerial roles with the company shows how the company respects gender in the workplace.

"Our track record of not just hiring but promoting women in leadership positions speaks for itself," an Alibaba spokesperson said.

Still, the tech giant promised to be more diligent in offering equal opportunities regardless of gender.

The sexist advertising language was not limited to just the tech industry either, according to the report.

"Nearly one in five job ads for China's 2018 national civil service called for 'men only' or 'men preferred'," said HRW's China director Sophie Richardson.

"Chinese authorities need to act now to enforce existing laws to end government and private hiring practices that blatantly discriminate against women."

For more on the study, go to the Human Rights Watch website.