Chinese company to women employees: ‘Wear make-up to ‘motivate’ male colleagues or face

A Chinese company based in Shenzhen, southeastern China, is under scrutiny after an executive officer, Luo, requested that female employees wear light makeup to “motivate” their male colleagues.

The directive, shared on WeChat, included a promise of afternoon tea funded by male coworkers for compliant female staff. When met with silence, Luo escalated by threatening performance bonus reductions unless responses were received promptly.

The incident gained public attention after an influencer shared the story online. In response, Luo, though not denying the message, dismissed it as a misunderstood joke. Despite removal, the controversy sparked outrage on Chinese social media, with users questioning the sincerity of Luo’s claim.

Luo defended the workplace culture, citing occasional jokes among staff and acknowledging a majority male workforce. He admitted the company often overlooked the needs of its female employees due to a strong focus on work but claimed ongoing efforts to enhance benefits for women.

The incident resonated with the public, eliciting comments such as, “Is it really a joke? He is the only one laughing,” and “Why does he not ask the male staff to do workouts to motivate the team?” This controversy adds to a trend of employers making unreasonable demands on their staff in China.

Notably, just two months ago, a boss in southeastern China threatened to cancel weekends off for staff who ignored messages during a two-day break. Last year, a woman in southeastern China gained internet fame after quitting her job as a new media specialist due to being forced to clean the bathroom on her first day.

Published on: December 27, 2023 13:35:09 IST

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