Bruce Hurwitz insists that his advice is for "the real world."
Bruce Hurwitz thinks flashy engagement rings are unprofessional. He's wrong.
By Good Housekeping
In today's dose of What in the World... we have some terrible career advice from Bruce Hurwitz, a career counselor and executive recruiter who is apparently so popular on LinkedIn that he can't accept anymore requests to connect. In his now-viral LinkedIn post, picked up on Refinery29, Hurwitz advises women to ditch their engagement rings for job interviews. Here's the advice he gave to one engaged woman who couldn't land a gig:
[post_ads]Even though I had not been introduced to her, and despite the fact that, at that moment, I was alone with five women all of whom were wearing engagement rings, I said, "Lose the rock!" Everyone looked at me. The woman had the Hope Diamond on her finger. She, and my colleagues, asked for an explanation. When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance. 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!
Unfortunately, this woman later (according to him) emailed Hurwitz to tell him that his advice worked. "She told me that the only thing she did differently at her last job interview, which resulted in the job offer, was not to wear the ring," he writes. In fact, other than learning that Bruce Hurwitz is very bad at giving career advice, you will learn that he really believes this Mad Men-era horseshit because, by his count, "half a dozen" women have used his advice and landed jobs:
So lose the rock! And, if you don't have one, but got engaged by signing a pre-nup, find a way to let male interviewers know that. They'll respect you. (Women may as well, but I'm not certain that this is the case.)
Can you imagine a recruiter telling men to ditch their wedding bands because they look "too expensive" and will thus immediately disgust all the ladies in the office? Or that, based on one piece of jewelry, your bosses will assume that you're going to be prone to hormonal rages that will make you the coworker from hell?
Predictably, Hurwitz's post was not well-received. But Hurwitz doubled down on his advice in a follow-up post where clarified that he'd advise men not to wear a $50,000 Rolex because make interviewers will think, "We could never afford him!" As Jezebel points out, it is pretty revealing that, to Hurwitz, a woman wearing a deeply personal piece of jewelry says she's too "high maintenance," whereas a guy with some random piece of expensive jewelry is signaling simply that he's rich.
In an email response to Time, Hurwitz insisted that his advice is for the "real world," (a.k.a. the sexist world) and said, "I honestly don't understand what the fuss is all about." Amazingly, he continued to capitalize on the attention by publishing a third article called, "How to Write a Viral Article on LinkedIn."
But some women, like Marianne Garvey at Bravo TV, seemingly agree with Hurwitz that women should take off their engagement rings for job interviews. Garvey explains that she's been subjected to a host of unprofessional questions at job interviews:
Inappropriate questions like, "What does your husband do?" were asked by one well known television producer. One, you've just assumed I was straight (which I am, but the assumptions had begun.) That same potential boss then bashed a former colleague of mine for writing a negative story on him, expected me to do the same (I did not because I like him and he is an excellent reporter), then, and here's the best part, asked me if I have kids.
Then told me I should because they're "fun." Well, I wasn't about to get into that on an interview couch. That's another couch. As I continued my job search, I even ran into the ring problem with a female interviewer, who works for a powerhouse entertainment company and told me the role I was interviewing for didn't pay as much as my last job, "but that should be fine, because you're married"...(while she looked at my ring.)
Her experience is super messed up, and it is not uncommon. But, look, pretty much everywhere you go, walking through the world as a woman is going to invite a lot unwanted attention and questions and judgments, and Hurwitz and Garvey's logic cowers to sexist employers who believe that women are infringing on their turf.
These are the same executives who think it's okay to limit a woman's career prospects because she's too fat, or too pregnant, or too attractive, or too into wearing flats... or, I guess now, too engaged. The list of ways women must shrink themselves to satisfy the egos of men is laughably absurd.
If women shut up about discriminatory treatment and just accept that this is the way things are, we will forever be outsiders in the workplace. In fact, legislation that made many forms of gender-based discrimination illegal passed thanks to a lot of women who refused to put up with double standards — refused to take off their metaphorical engagement rings.
These women are continuing to fight for equality by advocating for paid family leave, equal pay, equal representation, and combating sexual assault in male-dominated industries. There's still a long way to go, but giving in to sexism is not the solution. Teaching men (and many women!) to stop applying a double standard to women is the solution.
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