When 24-year-old Emily Clow ran across a potential marketing job at Kickass Masterminds, she thought it sounded right up her alley.
The company, which worked with “rebellious business owners who yearn for freedom and are ballsy enough to chase after it,” was looking for someone to help those entrepreneurs grow their businesses through marketing and social media.
Clow applied and received a request for additional application materials, which she provided. She was excited until she discovered that the company wasn’t interested in hiring her – they were interested in using her as an example of what not to do.
Someone involved in the hiring process took a photo of Emily from her Instagram page (she was wearing a bikini) and posted it to their own Instagram story with the following caption:
“I am looking for a professional marketer – not a bikini model. Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private. Bt this is not doing you any favors finding a professional job.”
In their IG story, the person behind the company’s account used Emily’s photo to warn other applicants against sharing their social media handles with potential employers “if this is the kind of content on it.”
Clow was, unsurprisingly, not all that happy when she found out about the post.
“I was objectified earlier today by a company because of a picture of me in a bikini. They claimed it made me an “unprofessional.” They screenshot the photo, posted it on their insta story, and called me out. I am still baffled that the company handled it in such a manner.”
Her tweet has since gone viral, garnering support from thousands of people online, including some who have even offered to help Clow find a job.
Clow was hurt, but also confused because it was a picture of her in a bathing suit at a pool – where that attire is obviously standard.
Her requests to the company for the post to be taken down were originally ignored (and they eventually blocked her on Instagram when she continued to dog them about it).
Sara Christensen, Kickass Masterminds’ CEO, wrote on Medium that she made “an error in judgement” and has “learned a lesson” but is not “ready to publicly address it in detail.”
It appears she might not ever be ready, because the company’s IG account – along with their website, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles – has been removed.
Funny sort of stuff from such a “ballsy” company.
Said Clow, “I thought this was a situation that I feel like a lot of women deal with on a daily basis when they’re job hunting. I figured that, ‘Hey, I might as well talk about this,’ because if I talk about it I know someone else is going through this and we can start a conversation and see if there’s a way to fix the issue.”
Social media has complicated many facets of life since it became such an integral part of both people’s personal lives and employers’ hiring. Though it has its upsides, it has become a minefield that all current job seekers have to navigate.
How to do that professionally is an ongoing discussion, and Emily Clow definitely added a chapter.
How the next one goes, we’ll just have to wait and see.