A trader in Barcelona posted an advertisement for a job offer in his store. However, the advertisement went horribly wrong and the authorities fined him around Rs 6.6 lakh for gender and age discrimination. Here is what happened.
Javier Marcos, owner of a curtain shop in Barcelona, was looking for a salesperson for his business because his former assistant, the only employee at his store in Fort Pienc, was retiring. He posted a job ad to hire someone and mentioned he needed a “woman over 40” for the position. Although intended to be an opportunity for women over 40, the advertisement was not well received by the labor inspectorate and Marcos was fined 7,501 euros or 6.6 lakhs rupees for discrimination based on age and sex.
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Discriminating job offer in Barcelona
In his defense, Marcos would have said the majority of his customers were women and joked, “I have no intention of discriminating against anyone. In fact, I wanted to offer an opportunity to a group of people who find it difficult to find work. I was hoping they would line up at the door, but instead I ended up with a fine, which is a lot of money for a small business.”
It is no news that women find it very difficult to get a suitable job when they pass a certain age. Even the most senior women are not given major, direct roles if they are in their 40s and 50s and are expected to stand back and support the organization internally. This is problematic because the same employee is seen as the face of the organization when young and is treated as a “visual”. Such materialistic discrimination and treatment is limited to female employees only, as men continue to hold important and even public positions in an organization despite their age.
This particular advertisement specified the type of employee required for the position, but since it was a female requirement, it was considered discriminatory. However, there have been several instances of large companies specifically mentioning that they need male employees for certain roles, but no one has ever questioned them. Even today, some recruiters reject candidates simply because they are women, assuming they are unsuitable for the job or will be difficult to handle.
The world has seen highly discriminatory advertisements in newspapers and magazines, including problematic marriage and job advertisements for decades, but no one has dared to question them. Such advertisements have been published in media accessible to a large mass, but they have never caused a problem. However, a job offer that is supposed to be encouraging for women over 40 who struggle to get a decent job ends up in trouble because it is discriminatory.
This announcement would have gone unnoticed if it had asked for a male candidate, which is a sad reality. The world is still under the control of people with patriarchal mentalities who are not ready to accept the instructions of women. They don’t like to work with women and therefore try to eliminate their job opportunities.
The opinions expressed by the author are their own.
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