Several months ago, a group of well meaning recruiters decided to raise money for charity by creating a Men of HR calendar to support Haiti Relief. On the surface it seemed like a fun idea to support a great cause. I envisioned my networking friends photographed in the field, at conferences and at their desks, in all their geeky HR glory. I was ready to buy one until I clicked on the link that took me to pics of my friends with only their male parts covered. What would I do with a calendar like that in my workplace? A calendar of professionals half naked, and in many cases in provocative poses, wasn't a product I could support. Though I love them, I mentally questioned their judgment - especially as HR professionals, for contriving such a project. Then I chalked it up to a rash of male middle aged wishful thinking micro-celebrititis (and perhaps beer), sent a donation for $100 through through Red Cross and moved on.
Fast forward to sitting here over this morning's coffee devouring the news online and a Tweet from paper.li that @thekencook's Daily SocialMediaEdge.com was published and my post from yesterday was featured.
Let me stop right her to say I am a huge fan of these tweet digests based on people, hashtag topics and Twitter lists by SmallRivers- if you haven't created or subscribed to one (or many) check it out.
As I scrolled down the digest, populated with the interesting contributions of Ken's list members, Top 10 Sexiest Women in Social Media - posted on the Automotive Digital Marketing professional community site kicked my adrenalin into gear. Ralph Paglia, Director of Digital Marketing, Social Media and Reputation Management Solutions at ADP Dealer Services had reposted the list by Fuchsia McInerney.
The women, all very beautiful indeed, are clearly accomplished and intelligent. I was relieved to see that unlike the calendar men they were dressed. They are all worth recognition and being on a Top 10 List of women rocking the social media world by storm.
However, from an HR perspective, I cannot find where "and quite frankly, they look good doing it" adds value whatsoever. Assuming these women consented to being on the list and submitted the photos they wanted used (at least I hope that's how it went down), I have to wonder if they thought it was really a good idea as in any publicity is good publicity or if they just got caught up in the word sexy and it appealed to their hormones.
Though there was some hubba hubba support for the sexual glorification of these talented women like, what's the harm, can't we have a little fun? I was brought back to earth from the blood pressure high with several comments from readers like
To the women in this article - stand up to the branding you just received - in this article... if you do not - then maybe the author is right with the first ingredient she really feels you are made of and the readers who will forever remember you when they pass you at your next speaking engagement as the Sexiest..... Fred Bonebrake
Hey.... I gotta be honest........ I`m not really sure what this post has to do with selling cars....... but people should be commended for what they contribute, not for their appearance. Ken Beam
This post is the reason I do what I do in the auto industry: Work with automotive retailers to become AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendlywhich includes treating women with respect , which includes curtailing the urge to objectify women as mere sexual beings to be admired and glorified. Jody DeVere
When a potential client or employer searches you - do you really want the return on the career and brand you have worked so hard to establish to be Top 10 Sexiest Women in Social Media?
P.S. Some of Fuchsia's other blog posts are actually good.