Justice

Recruiter's Advice for Women on Job Interviews Is Getting a Lot of Heat

A lot of people are proud to show off their engagement rings, but a career recruiter is arguing that there are limits to where a woman should flaunt her rock. More specifically, she should leave the ring at home during job interviews if she is serious about landing the role, he says.

Bruce Hurwitz, an executive recruiter in New York, recently gained a lot of attention online for his LinkedIn post that advises women not to wear their engagement rings to job interviews. Hurwitz argues that it can make the woman at the office with the largest engagement ring feel threatened and also make men think the female prospective employee is high maintenance.

"When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance," Hurwitz recalls telling a woman who had "the Hope Diamond" on her finger and was getting zero offers after her interviews. "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!"

Hurwitz's post drew a lot of criticism from fellow LinkedIn users, many of whom found the advice to be sexist:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Hurwitz's post points to some sad double standards facing working women at work.

Hurwitz wrote in a follow-up post on LinkedIn that a wedding ring is perfectly fine to wear at an interview compared to an engagement ring, as a wedding ring represents commitment and stability, both of which are very appealing to employers. Being engaged, he wrote, doesn't necessarily mean that a person will get married.
 

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Hurwitz also wrote that even wearing a wedding band can potentially harm a female's potential career prospects because an employer "might think that a young woman may decide to have children which will cause problems for the company." This speaks to the reality that men are often professionally rewarded for being fathers while women are penalized for juggling motherhood and their job at the same time.

“Employers read fathers as more stable and committed to their work; they have a family to provide for, so they’re less likely to be flaky,” Michelle Budig, a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who has researched the parental pay gap for nearly two decades, told The New York Times in 2014. “That is the opposite of how parenthood by women is interpreted by employers. The conventional story is they work less and they’re more distractible when on the job.”