As if the wage gap and substandard maternity leave practices weren’t already keeping women from achieving their career goals, now their engagement rings may be keeping them from getting the job in the first place.
According to a LinkedIn blog post by male job recruiter Bruce Hurwitz, a woman shouldn’t wear an engagement ring to an interview because it sends the message that she’s “high-maintenance.”
Hurwitz wrote in his post:
A colleague interviewed a woman. I was not present during the interview. When they left the conference room the woman asked my colleague, “You know, I have had a number of interviews and no offers. Did you find anything wrong with my interviewing skills?” My colleague assured her that she had not. Even though I had not been introduced to her, and despite the fact that, at that moment, I was alone with five women all of whom were wearing engagement rings, I said, “Lose the rock!”Everyone looked at me. The woman had the Hope Diamond on her finger. She, and my colleagues, asked for an explanation.”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 realize that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!”
Apparently, this woman’s ring was so big (Hope Diamond big) that Hurwitz claims a male employer just can’t pay attention to his own job. It does not matter that a woman is skilled, talented and right for a position. There’s something shiny on her finger. Not a good fit.
Hurwitz tries to make it less about gender by also claiming that women will not like the giant engagement rings either by claiming women are competitive and jealous.
It’s important to note that a woman wearing her ring also sends the message that she is emotionally attached to a partner and therefore unavailable. Considering that sexual harassment remains a problem for women in the workplace, this might be an issue one should consider before dispensing this kind of advice.
Some commenters thought his advice was archaic, to say the least.
In an attempt to seem unbiased, Hurwitz also published a post about how men should remove expensive watches during job interviews so they don’t give the employer the idea that he’s too valuable when it comes to things like salary negotiations.
The important difference here: too valuable, but not “high maintenance.”
An expensive ring on a woman means she’s difficult, an expensive watch on a man means he’s too good to be true.
Hurwitz also implies that women only get engaged in exchange for expensive rings, saying, “an engagement ring only says that you agree(d) to get engaged in exchange for the ring. You do not own the ring. It only becomes your property when you fulfill the terms of the verbal agreement into which you entered.”
People were also, predictably, displeased with Hurwitz’s second post.
To cap it all off, Hurwitz wrote a third and (hopefully) final post entitled, “How to Write a Viral Article on LinkedIn.”
Hurwitz’s “advice” includes choosing the right title, writing for a specific readership and being prepared for “haters.”