The company I work for are going to participate at a trade exhibition / conference shortly. They will have a stand with brochures, etc. and the sales team will meet and greet clients / potential clients. The usual. This year they have decided to hire a hostess to 'help out' on the stand. She won't really know anything about the company or what we do. Apparently, Her tasks will be to smile, say hello, serve drinks, etc. And look pretty, though nobody will openly say that. Though the sales team (all men) are constantly joking about the 'extra services' that they're going to ask for.
The whole thing annoys me, but I can't quite explain why. Maybe because it seems to summarise how they see women. Hostess will be the only women there, except maybe me. Would this situation bug anyone else?
For a bit of background, the company is about 90% men, in a male dominated industry. We are in an EU country. I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder because I don't feel that they take me seriously at work, and am trying to decide what to do career Wise.
I was contact for an organisation who took a stand at the museums & heritage trade show and I was absolutely inundated in the weeks before by emails from models who wanted to work our stand. I don't know where they got my email - they must trawl the event programmes for upcoming shows - but I can't even begin to explain how inappropriate and odd it would be to employ models for a stand at the museums & heritage show!!! It's just not the culture in our field. At all. And many women would be offended on feminist grounds.