A Russian company is under fire after offering its female employees a cash incentive to wear skirts and dresses to work.
Aluminium manufacturer TATPROF made headlines after Zalina Marshenkulova, a journalist and feminist author shared the company’s “femininity marathon” to social media dubbing the campaign “news from the Middle Ages.”
According to a poster from the compay, from May 27 to June 30, all female employees who wear a skirt or dress “no longer than five centimetres from the knee” will receive an additional 100 roubles ($2.07 CAD) on top of their wage. Also part of the dress code? “Modest makeup.”
In order to qualify for the bonus, women are required to send photos of their outfit to their employer.
In an interview with a Russian news outlet, TATPROF internal communications specialist Anastia Kirillova says that the initiative was meant to “brighten up” the men’s team, and “increase awareness” of women in the company.
“On the one hand, we wanted to brighten up our daily work schedule. We work in a large aluminum extrusion industry,” Kirillova said. “Our team consists of 70 per cent of men. Such actions and events help us to switch, exhale. This is a great way to rally a team! Many women wear trousers on the machine, so we hope that our action will increase the awareness of our ladies, allowing them to feel their femininity and charm when they opt for a skirt or dress. It's summer now, so the marathon came in handy. ”
A separate article from Business Online says the campaign will conclude with one female employer being declared the “benchmark” for traditional female beauty and awarded a separate prize.
The campaign has received backlash online, with many calling it “disgusting” and “vile.”
“TATPROF is running a femininity contest for its employees in Russia, basically it seems so the bosses can gawk over the pictures,” one Twitter user wrote. “Disgusting abuse of power and exploitation of women.”
The campaign is reported to be in line with Sergey Gennadevich Rachkov, the chairman of TATPROF board of directors.
“He is very concerned about this issue - mixing gender roles,” Kirillov explained. And he really wants to preserve the feminine principle in every employee of the company - so that girls don’t wear male hairstyles, don’t dress in trousers, do handicrafts, and put all their warmth in raising children.”
Aside from encouraging women to adhere to a more “feminine” dress code, TATPROF has also scheduled gendered contests for its employees: A dumpling making contest for women, and a pull-up contest for men.