back to article HPE celebrated diversity on International Women's Day not with pictures of its own staff but stock images of models

Hewlett Packard Enterprise celebrated the work of its female staff on International Women’s Day with stock photos of suited models rather than, you know, its actual employees. Alan May, enterprise veep and chief people officer at HPE, made the gaffe in a 5 March blog post that was all about “championing equality” and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bold and talented women

    For a split second I had this horrible vision of "bald and talented" Ripley grabbing a marine by his balls. Ah, male fantasies ;)

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Snigger snigger...

    Bulgarian... airbags???

    1. Ken Shabby
      Childcatcher

      Re: Snigger snigger...

      I have a friend called Airbags...

  3. W. Anderson

    Large corporate crassness - as usual

    Technology information readers in both UK and USA, as well as other nations, must know, once and for all that the large behemoths of technology industry, mostly from USA have never shown sensitivity and compassion, much less corporate policy and practice to ensure against sexism, racism and white male preference.

    It has been disappointing to witness, after more than twenty five years in professional technology very little concrete and positive change in areas most needed.

    The only hedge against this continued sick posture is the rise of women and minority own business as well as elevation of these groups to highest levels of executive power in corporations like HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Google and the rest.

    I hope my grand-daughters - senior corporate attorney, executive International law firm administrator and an aspiring International speaker and environmental scientist take the mantle of executing such necessary changes permanently, so the the world can continue down path of better stewardhip.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Large corporate crassness - as usual

      "Technology information readers in both UK and USA, as well as other nations, must know, once and for all that the large behemoths of technology industry, mostly from USA have never shown sensitivity and compassion, much less corporate policy and practice to ensure against sexism, racism and white male preference

      No one could be more cynical than me regarding the management of large corporations. They act to benefit themselves not society as a whole, sometime that also benefits share holders but not always. They are sometimes stupid and often take a ridiculously short term view. However the idea of a white male preference is ridiculous against the evidence and not a little racist and sexist in itself.

      The technical work force of such companies has a very high proportion of indian,, chinese and other asian groups. This is not because of any diversity goal or initiative it is simply that a large proportion of the available pool of suitably qualified people comes from these groups. The reason why therd are not many women in such roles is because there are not many women who are suitably qualified and interested, those that are gravitate to non-technical roles such as project management and marketing. A high proportion of those that are employed technically take a long career break and frequently either don't return or return to non-technical roles.

      The idea of a white male bias in recruitment or treatment of such staff is nonsense. In fact whenver I have been involved in hiring from teh early 90s there has been a quite explicit bias in favour of women. This is mirrored by biases in the education system and the professional bodies all of whom quite opernly favour women.

      None of the bias in favour of women and discrimnination against men leads to a majority of women in the compoition of technical teams because in the main women don't like working with technology compared to working wioth people and many women prioritise family/life balance choices above career.

      The constant nonsense about technology being anti-women is annoying and misleading. If you want to see a profession that discriminates in a sexist way look at teaching. Despite a small minority of teachers being men the professional bodies have no programs to encourage men and advocate openly for assisting girls in preference to boys education despite boys doing worse in school than men.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: Large corporate crassness - as usual

        You managed to find a quite remarkable excuse instead of a dry dismissal.

        As for your last paragraph all I can say is that it's plain wrong and appalling. Speaking both as a man who has been educated mostly by women and as a father of a boy, I find your idea stops short from excluding girls from schools because they make boys feel bad.

  4. brizo2478

    In the history of HPE gaffs

    This is pretty tame...they've done WAY worse.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory Dilbert

    I seem to recall this came out around the time Fiorina was in charge.

    https://dilbert.com/strip/2000-05-25

  6. joeW

    Ah, the corporate PR drone championing of diversity as an abstract concept without giving any thought as to what it actually might mean.

    An American company I worked for years ago used to send copies of their monthly corporate newsletter to our offices in Ireland. One issue was dedicated to patting themselves on the back for diversity, and included the memorable headline "[Corporation Name] is proud to announce that 40% of last year's new hires were Diverse!"

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @joeW

      "Ah, the corporate PR drone championing of diversity as an abstract concept without giving any thought as to what it actually might mean."

      But this is the problem with diversity and 'diversity'. The aim of this stupidity isnt diversity, its a way of trying to get stupid people off your back who demand 'diversity'. 'Diversity' is people who look different and can be divided by physical attributes but mentally all must conform. 'Diversity' is about checking box's to make those special little people who proudly wear a dunce hat (and use it as a megaphone to tell the rest of us how to conform) but if you dare have a diverse thought you are wrong.

      Of course diversity isnt something that people can really shout about as its harder to point at and identify as its diversity of thought. It leads to discussion and even conflict but can produce some of the greatest ideas and expand understanding for those who can tolerate it.

      I understand it was probably amusing for you to get the corporate newsletter not taking this crap seriously but who in their right mind takes this rubbish seriously anyway?

  7. Teiwaz

    Probably some HR or marketing bod

    Stood up, took a quick look around the office...

    ...decided no one on their floor was in the slightest photogenic, sexy or looked inspiring or something they thought people would want to emulate (basically, just humans), and plumped for the fantasy.

    They'd have done the same having looked at the males in the office too, and probably quicker.

    1. Zolko Bronze badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

      yeah, and then they changed the photo to some real HPE staff ... which was much less diverse (only white women). Paris icon, obviously

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Zolko - Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

        The original stock image of models was also less diverse, it did not include a black, Jewish, lesbian woman in a wheelchair. See how many groups are under-represented here ? And I just scratched the surface.

        Now what was your point again ?

      2. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

        But they are Bulgarians, so in the eyes of some American morons, full of diversity!!!

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

      That, and there are also hoops to jump through with photos of real people that you don't have with models. For example, once someone leaves a company they can insist on being removed from any materials, they can also be really fussy on a photoshoot, which you also have to coordinate with them. Also, many people see such publications as aspirational and don't want them full of the dorks from the office next door. Exceptions prove the rule, but, when you're not actually providing interviews, it's best to avoid employee pictures.

      But the biggest problem with these days is that they reek of symbolism instead of policy or action.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

        "For example, once someone leaves a company they can insist on being removed from any materials..."

        No they can't, unless of course someone forgot to get the model release or contract clause.

        1. joeW

          Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

          Well yes, but that's just another hoop you have to jump through which using a stock image avoids.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Probably some HR or marketing bod

          May well depend on country legislation: in many countries people have a what's called a "moral" or inalienable right to their own image which copyright can only work around.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lifespan of employees at HPE??

    HPE - so do all employees die after 32767 hours of service???? This allows them to maintain diversity, by replacing them with the new flavour of the month....

  9. chivo243 Silver badge

    Marketing booboo

    Totally a thing, Joe Marketeer forgot to update something somewhere...

  10. LeahroyNake

    At least

    The wording was quite / quote good. It looks like they copy pasted it from some guidelines.

    "We believe that everyone, regardless of gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity, should be given equal opportunities to pursue and obtain the career experiences they want and need.”

    They should have added, we had a look at our staff and shoehorned as many as possible into as many of these criteria as we could / he has long hair / she has some stubble / they are not white / maybe they have a same sex partner because they didn't want to go on a date with me Fekkin woo woo. It's none of their bloody business. Just treat people as people based on thier qualifications and experience.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    "it was posted prior to the start of the event"

    Way to demonstrate just how fake the whole thing was. You prepared all the marketing material beforehand, so you could make a point about how "progressive" you are.

    Unfortunately, you just underscored how fake all that progressiveness is.

    The better way would have been to hold the fiesta, take pictures of actual participants, and post a news blog after. Of course, that does not allow you to run ahead of the news. It does, however, prevent you from smacking your face into the wall of shame, like you did.

  12. Androgynous Cow Herd

    HPE Diversity

    Is proving Female CEOs can be as bad at their jobs as well as their male counterparts

  13. HildyJ Silver badge
    Devil

    Wait a minute

    Does HPE still have employees? Besides management and lawyers, of course.

    1. tekHedd

      Re: Wait a minute

      Perhaps HPE is boasting about the diversity of their labor outsourcing plan?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fake news, they are silicon!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I did wonder

    I used to work there, and I don't remember the one on the left in the red.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I did wonder

      It's just hard to find women who are smiling and working for HPE.

      ..thus the tip-off something was amiss.

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