Czech power company holds Facebook bikini contest to choose interns – CNET

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


Yes, in 2017.

CEZ/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

After Travis Kalanick’s resignation as CEO of Uber and the leave of absence taken by Binary Capital’s Justin Caldbeck — both events following accusations of sexual harassment — sexism has become (finally) quite the topic in the tech industry.

It’s not, though, confined to Silicon Valley. 

Please consider the contribution to modern culture offered by Czech power conglomerate CEZ. It couldn’t quite decide how to choose its interns for one of its nuclear power stations this year.

So it asked all the females to dress in bikinis and hard hats and held a Facebook competition. As Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports, 10 female high-school graduates were paraded by CEZ’s followers to ogle and favor.

You might think there was a national outcry in the Czech Republic. You might think you need to check the definition of “outcry.” For local TV station Jihoceske actually ran a flattering feature on the scheme. 

CEZ didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The company did, though, offer an apology of sorts on Facebook

“The winner of the facebook competition is… all interested parties,” it began. How enlightened. Yes, the company decided to offer all its bikini contestants an internship. 

It added, in Facebook’s translation: “We didn’t want to touch anyone. The purpose of the competition was to promote technical education. But if the original vision raised doubts or concerns, we are very sorry and sorry.” Please consider the concept of promoting technical education for the next few hours.

Deutsche Welle said that in a press release announcing this competition, CEZ had compared it to so-called cultural enrichment programs that had been held in the past. You know, concerts by classical orchestras, that sort of thing. It seems that some members of the media and public really did feel slightly more than doubts or concerns. They weren’t touched at all.

DW quoted human rights lawyer Petra Havlikova as musing: “The competition is absolutely outside the bounds of ethics. In 2017, I find it incredible that someone could gain a professional advantage for their good looks.”

Every time you think that it really is 2017, you wonder whether any progress has been made at all. 

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