At Ernst And Young, It's Mad Men All Over Again
Credit: AMC
October 21, 2019

Okay, so the accounting firm of Ernst & Young decided that the women at their firm weren’t doing it right. So, they brought in some other people to do a workshop on how to do it right.

When women speak, they shouldn’t be shrill. Clothing must flatter, but short skirts are a no-no. After all, “sexuality scrambles the mind.” Women should look healthy and fit, with a “good haircut” and “manicured nails.”

These were just a few pieces of advice that around 30 female executives at Ernst & Young received at a training held in the accounting giant’s gleaming new office in Hoboken, New Jersey, in June 2018.

Surely they have the date wrong. Surely this was like, I dunno, 1950?

Nope. Last year. They even had a scoresheet.


The executive attendees were told not to talk to men face to face …

  • If you’re having a conversation with a man, cross your legs and sit at an angle to him. Don’t talk to a man face-to-face. Men see that as threatening.

Don’t speak up at meetings ...

  • Don’t directly confront men in meetings, because men perceive this as threatening. (Women do not.) Meet before (or after) the meeting instead.

And even …

Attendees were even told that women’s brains are 6% to 11% smaller than men’s, Jane said. She wasn’t sure why they were told this, nor is it clear from the presentation. Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.

It’s 2019. Two years ago, we had a choice between a man and woman for President. Obviously, even with Trump’s bigger brain, we made the wrong choice.

Ernst & Young says they are not doing this particular training now but they won’t say if they still hire the consultant who did it.

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