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Give me an M! Give me an O! Tech firms in China hire female cheerleaders to 'motivate' men

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 22 August 2015, 20:33 IST

Chinese tech companies are known to be efficient, no matter how they get the job done. That means work life is not easy. The hours are long and the routine monotonous.

How do they stay motivated and productive, in that case? Well, in the latest news coming out of China, tech companies are hiring female cheerleaders to increase motivation and boost productivity.

State-run Trending in China posted on its Facebook page, "Internet companies across China are embracing programming cheerleaders: pretty, talented girls that help create a fun work environment."

According to the HR manager of an internet company that hired three cheerleaders, programmers are mostly male and terrible at socialising, and the presence of these girls has greatly improved their job efficiency and motivation.

The news page doesn't detail how many companies have introduced this scheme, but apparently productivity has been boosted in companies that have. On the other hand, even though female programmers exist at these companies, it doesn't seem that any male cheerleaders have been hired.

Also, some of the Facebook commenters don't seem too happy.

"What a ridiculous job, why reduce women to only be valued by their looks and to assist males. Let them have a job at the desk, using their minds!" wrote one woman.

A man lamented, "What about female coders? Do these guys hire male "motivators"?"

This is a sexist strategy - and it also serves to deepen the stereotype of the male programmer.

The cheerleading job

Cheerleaders are hired to entertain the men on the floor, tasked with keeping the morale high and creating a fun and happy work environment. The list of items cheerleaders are responsible for includes buying breakfast, playing ping pong, chatting about non-work-related matters and even singing songs.

First published: 22 August 2015, 20:33 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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