Your daughter could do worse than join the Navy
The spread sheet is well laid out and user friendly, with a simple Wimbledon-style draw where after six rounds a clear winner is declared and the top eight rankings are listed on a league table.
It is elegant and efficient in its design, as you would expect from a product created inside one of the world’s biggest accounting firms.
Headshots of the contestants appear to have been sourced from the mega-firm’s intranet but the prize isn’t a silver trophy like at the All England Lawn Tennis Club – it’s the honour of being named the hottest chick in European office of Deloittes.
The only difference between this and what happened on board the HMAS Success is that this 2007 spread sheet was probably viewed by thousands of people around the world, instead of a handful of sailors who likely didn’t get anywhere near the bunks of their documented prey.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has warned the existence of “The Ledger,” a book of female targets for sex aboard the HMAS Success, might turn some women off the idea of a career at sea.
She’d better extend her warning to the legal, accounting, hospitality, medical, media, construction, and yes, political industries – or just about any field where there’s lots of men and lots of women at work.
Opposition defence spokesman Bob Baldwin even reminded us at the weekend of the infamous arrangement between Mark Latham and Joel Fitzgibbon to see who could sleep with a Coalition staffer first. They wouldn’t have been the first, and they won’t be the last people to use political power to get what they want in the bedroom.
Just two months ago a Liberal Party member was asked to take down a blog post in which he claimed the party had the “hottest girls” in politics, and obligingly provided photographs of the top contenders.
And despite enormous developments in corporate policy introduced by HR departments around the world in the past decade, this kind of thing goes on everywhere.
But unlike the Navy, most employers don’t have routine “equity and diversity health checks,” to root it out. And the RAN should be praised for the way it handled the HMAS Success story (no pun intended).
The blokes who drew up the document, which put a price on women colleagues depending on their rank and sexual orientation (with extra points if you had sex on the pool table – very exotic) have been sent home.
There’s now an investigation underway, which has a good chance of turning up the embarrassing possibility no-one privy to “The Ledger” actually got to claim a pay out.
And the captain of the Success, Commander Simon Brown, seems to have the whole thing under control. The women who work for him should feel good about it, and probably have bigger things to worry about aboard the Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel than what dollar figure was put on them by a group of stupid men.
Surely more important than whether this kind of things goes on (because it does, and always will) is how employers handle it.
Just ask Christina Rich, who settled out of court with PriceWaterhouseCoopers early last year over sexual harassment claims. While her case differed in the details from the bets, lists and ranking systems I’m talking about, her ordeal uncovered a culture at the firm which saw some women who did not “play the game” sidelined.
It was about the time of her legal battle that the spread sheet from the European office of Deloittes was circulated widely here.
It seems pretty harmless. The photos are just headshots of women, who are all dressed in professional attire and those who created it and passed it on would have looked at it as a bit of fun with no consequences.
But for all minor difference in detail between it and the Supply’s “Ledger”, it’s essentially the same thing. And it’s a sophisticated example of the kind of ranking that goes on in workplaces all over the world every day.
Your daughter’s got just as much chance ending up on one these lists at a respectable financial or legal firm as she does in the military.
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