Corporate America loves a training seminar, and God only knows how many of those training seminars are an absolute nightmare. Case in point: whatever Ernst and Young, a global accounting firm, was doing telling women “Don’t flaunt your body―sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women).”
The Huffington Post has a look inside a training at Ernst and Young called “Power-Presence-Purpose,” or PPP. They spoke specifically to a woman who attended an event in June 2018 alongside around 30 other women and passed along a 55-page presentation full of absolutely incredible advice and spoke about the accompanying day and a half of programming. “The training was billed to participants as advice on how to be successful at EY,” HuffPo reported. So, what did they learn?
To begin with, before the training, attendees were asked to rate their characteristics according to a worksheet that appears to have been written by an AI trained solely on Barbara Cartland novels:
Before the workshop, women were also given a “Masculine/Feminine Score Sheet,” which had them rate their adherence to stereotypical masculine and feminine characteristics both on the job and outside the office.
The so-called masculine traits included “Acts as a Leader,” “Aggressive,” “Ambitious,” “Analytical,” “Has Leadership Abilities,” “Strong Personality” and “Willing to Take a Stand.”
The so-called feminine traits included “Affectionate,” “Cheerful,” “Childlike,” “Compassionate,” “Gullible,” “Loves Children” and “Yielding.” None of the feminine traits involved leadership ― ostensibly a focus of the training.
Their source “said the message was that women will be penalized, by both men and women, if they don’t adhere to feminine characteristics or if they display more masculine traits,” and anybody who wanted to be successful should remember it. Of course, they also talked about personal appearance:
One section of the document is devoted to women’s appearance: Be “polished,” have a “good haircut, manicured nails, well-cut attire that complements your body type,” it states on Page 36. But then, a warning: “Don’t flaunt your body ― sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women).”
But wait—we haven’t even gotten to the diner breakfast special brain science yet!
Attendees were even told that women’s brains are 6% to 11% smaller than men’s, Jane said. She wasn’t sure why they were told this, nor is it clear from the presentation. Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.
Ernst and Young told HuffPo that the course “is no longer offered in its current form,” pointed out it was an outside vendor, and pushed back against HuffPo’s characterization of the program:
The company said it disagrees with the way the content of the seminar is characterized in this story. “Any isolated aspects are taken wholly out of context,” EY said in a statement. The company said it reviewed the evaluations of women who participated in the program, and found they rated it highly. EY’s communications team also shared quotes from two current employees, who praised the training.
Maybe my pancake brain just can’t focus enough to understand the benefits.