A job advert that called for the "ability to deal with the male banter" has been panned online for its everyday sexism.
The position, which was listed on Guardian Jobs but has now been taken down for its "inappropriate" language, was for an EA & Investor Relations Associate at an unnamed property investment firm in London with a salary of £40,000 to £45,000, plus bonus. The job also appears on LinkedIn, where the listing says it is no longer accepting applications.
The advert describes an office of about 45 people, including various friends and family members, where "everyone gets on well" and there is a "relaxed and buzzy environment although everyone works very hard". Duties include diary management, travel, scheduling meetings, client interaction, ad hoc private support and other typical executive assistant tasks.
Later, in the skills and personality section, the advert calls for an ability to deal with male banter in the office alongside a "good personality" and someone who is "sociable but not distracting". It also wants someone who is "great in dealing with HNWIs" – high net worth individuals.
Twitter user and theatre director Hannah Joss posted a screenshot of the offending section on Wednesday, saying: "A friend just sent this. Just been posted on @GuardianJobs I have no words. #timesup."
Joss was referencing the Time's Up movement aimed at fighting sexual harassment in the workplace which is being spearheaded by Hollywood celebrities including Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon. Among other initiatives, they launched a Legal Defence Fund to provide subsidised legal support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workplace.
A Guardian News & Media spokesperson told IBTimes UK: "The job advertisement in question was unacceptable and has been removed from our site. We have made clear to the recruiter that the language used in the advertisement was inappropriate and have suspended their account permanently."
Twitter users were shocked and outraged by the advert, calling it "totally unacceptable". One woman translated "banter" as meaning "rudeness or harassment at my pleasure", which another user added would mean the employer can blame on the employee being "distracting".
The advert also calls for someone who is "bright and emotionally intelligent" – which user Rachelle Denton pointed out would mean they know how to deal with so-called banter, by calling it out and reporting it. Many others asked what era we are in, saying it feels regressive, and called it out as everyday sexism.
Amy Bertaut said: "I know! It is horrendous! I hope very much that @GuardianJobs takes the advert down and reminds the company that this is 2018 and advertising for a woman who will sit and do the admin whilst dealing with "banter" (being sexually harassed) is not ok."
Many men were as shocked by the advert as female users. Thomas Coombes said: "Jesus wept.. Not to mention that sounds like the worst place to work ever." Dan Redford said: "Dear God. This leaves you absolutely speechless..." And Bob Ward added: "'Male banter' often means a job environment in which male chauvinism is tolerated."
The job was advertised by RMS Recruitment, who have been approached for comment.