Tech Companies in China in Search of "Good Looking" Tech Workers

By: Marie Donlon

Following criticism last year for using sexist recruitment language in job advertisements, Chinese Tech companies seem to be at it again, according to reports.

Thousands of advertisements appearing on the two largest recruitment websites in China (Liepin and Zhaopin) for internet companies in search of programmers and other staff contain language emphasizing requirements for a candidate’s appearance as well as language concerning age and gender. For instance, some advertisements recommend that candidates “have presentable facial features” or be “under the age of 30.” According to reports, over 1,000 job postings contained such language with some going as far as to advertise that they employ “good-looking men and women” or “foreign and Chinese beauties and hunks.”

“Even though looks seemingly are irrelevant, Chinese internet companies like to use these catchphrases a lot,” said Lion Niu, a Beijing-based senior consultant at headhunter CGL Consulting. “In some divisions that are male dominant, companies still think by hiring a woman, they can boost morale for the coders.”

Despite reported bans on gender discrimination in the workplace as well as pledges from President Xi Jinping to combat workplace discrimination, the advertisements suggest challenges to fair hiring practices as well as a lack of enforcement.

“Chinese tech companies are falling behind Western peers and need better awareness of equal opportunity and more clearly defined policies banning discrimination,” said Wang Yaqiu, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit group. “Discriminatory practices can be even worse at smaller companies.”

This article originally appeared on Engineering360.