First, the good news: Goldman Sachs sponsored a conference with the express purpose of getting women interested in the typical sausagefest profession that is computer programming. Now, the bad news: they placated attendees of said conference with some kind of feather-rufflingly stereotypical swag: mirrors and nail files. Almost, guys. Almost.
According to the New York Times, the WECode (Women Engineers Code) Conference was organized by Harvard undergrads but boasted Goldman as its corporate partner. It seems that Goldman was the entity responsible for the hand mirrors and nail files.
In addition to the mirrors and nail files, Goldman Sachs provided T-shirts and key chains to hold headphone cords, according to a person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. The event's organizers encouraged Goldman to bring goodies that would appeal to a female audience, this person said.
"We are strong supporters of efforts to recruit and retain women in technology. We apologize if the gifts gave anyone offense," a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman said in a statement.
Yeah, gals. Sorry you were offended, but mostly sorry 'bout your cuticles.
Other sponsors managed to bring "female friendly" supplies that didn't directly reference makeup application; for example, one company gave out socks.