So I was emailed on Careers by a company and was shocked to see the following in their company listing:

sexism in company listing

We have enough problems with sexism in the tech industry without this kind of thing and I find that pretty inappropriate to see on a careers focussed website. I had a look at the guidelines here: https://careers.stackoverflow.com/house-rules and it seems to violate rule 4:

  1. Don’t describe yourself in a way that excludes others.

I couldn't find a robust way to report something like this on the website. I hope this site is the right place.

  • 40
    It's a holiday today in the US, but I have alerted folks handling company profiles and such to this, and they will have a look at it. I'm not positive that will be today, but possibly, otherwise definitely tomorrow. Thanks for letting us know.
    – Tim Post
    May 25, 2015 at 12:01
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    I've removed that benefit from their page for now. We'll follow up with the company. May 25, 2015 at 12:15
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    So don't reply to the email, don't think about working there. If someone thinks that is a great way to advertise they'll find out soon enough when they only get monkeys and dweebs applying. I don't know if it's worth getting offended over it. Recruiters will say just about anything to get your attention, and statistically the ladies in that office are likely to be normal, so maybe it's their policy to regard everyone as "beautiful"? Take a chill pill, I would think its unlikely to be as bad in real life as you've made it seem.
    – slugster
    May 25, 2015 at 12:16
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    A perfect and measured response. Thank you for looking into it.
    – jackslash
    May 25, 2015 at 12:17
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    @slugster I get your viewpoint and I'm not trying to get anyone worked up about it. I think that our community is a tiny bit better off just for having a discussion about whether we want our industry represented like this or not. My part of that discussion is that I think we should all work to be better than this advert was. :-)
    – jackslash
    May 25, 2015 at 12:28
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    Holiday here in the UK too, where they're based.
    – Tim
    May 25, 2015 at 15:18
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    jackslash-Thank you for reporting this publicly here on meta! It gives people a chance to see an example of how, if something offensive has slipped through the cracks, the SE powers that be will nip it in the bud! It also encourages newer users, like me, to be less afraid to speak up. Our community is far more than a "tiny bit" better off for having had this discussion! :) May 26, 2015 at 21:30
  • @Sue, no problems and thanks to you also for replying. It's an emotive subject - I tend to try and walk that fine line between freedom of expression and respecting the rights of the group in question (in this case women). In any case SE have been very efficient in dealing with it, so good on them. Have a good evening :)
    – slugster
    May 26, 2015 at 23:59

3 Answers 3


I think you are totally right. The latest podcast had an interesting interview with Roberta, and one of the subjects was sexist men that made the life of women in tech hard.

I think a company, and SE as content provider, should be very aware of the message such a text brings to others. Personally, I wouldn't be interested in the company anymore, whatever they would make of it. You have one chance to get a first impression, and this one wasn't quite good.

I appreciate the fast action Tim Post has taken a lot. It seems SE takes this seriously, as they should.

Tim's and Jason's actions seem to have worked out. The company profile has been updated and the text has been removed.

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    +1, thanks again to Tim Post.
    – Tim
    May 25, 2015 at 15:17
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    Patrick-Thank you, @Korneel Bouman, Tim Post, and others, for giving this matter the proper attention, and handling it so quickly and appropriately, even on a holiday! SE can be difficult to navigate, and at times frustrating for a number of reasons, but when I see action taken like this, it reminds me why I'm proud to be part of this community. :) May 26, 2015 at 21:18

Thanks @jackslash for bringing this to our attention! Per the comments we've removed the section and we're reaching out to the client. In general, there are three ways to alert us of issues like these:

  • flag a listing (if job listing)
  • email careers at stackoverflow dot com
  • post on meta like you did

Thanks again!


I think it would be great to implement some type of sanitation check(words filtering) when the company profile is either newly added or updated. Personally, I would be more interested in implementing some kinda artificial intelligence/ natural language processing here. I completely understand that there is absolutely no substitute for manual human review. But, if implemented correctly, this words filtering feature would really benefit StackOverflow Careers portal. At the basic level, I would put "hold for review" status whenever certain words are triggered by the system. Now the submission has to go through the manual approval/moderation process. Without the approval, the company profile will never be shown to the public.

P.S. I have zero knowledge when it comes to "artificial intelligence/ natural language processing". I am not even sure if that is the correct term to use for this words filtration system I am proposing here. All I want is some sort of "automation".

  • 2
    They already somewhat are using ML for Careers. See Jason's blog post for information about what they're doing with it.
    – hichris123
    Jun 5, 2015 at 2:39
  • @hichris123 thanks for pointing me to Jason's blog post. That was interesting read. I even went thru his other blog posts. Somewhat is the key term here... but don't know what would be best way to avoid situation like this... It would be great if Jason or any of the SE's core team members share their thoughts on this Jun 5, 2015 at 3:11
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    So you would filter the word "beautiful"? Or "ladies"? Dec 10, 2015 at 14:22

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