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Spanish woman’s ‘sexist’ rejection letter sparks furore

February 14, 2018
Stock image of woman working at laptopImage copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Ms Forcada said she felt discriminated against after receiving a job rejection for not being a man

A Spanish company has been criticised for allegedly rejecting a woman for a job on the grounds she was not a man.

PR agency Impulsa Comunicación told Carla Forcada the account executive role “needed a man who could handle the pace of working with big companies”.

The agency has now been dropped by Coca-Cola and other firms after she posted about it on social media.

The PR agency said that it was never its intention to discriminate against Ms Forcada.

Ms Forcada, 25, studied marketing and communication and lives in Barcelona.

She said on Twitter (in Spanish) that it was “incredible that companies that practice gender-based discrimination in the workplace still exist”.

Twitter post by @forcada_carla: Increíble que todavía existan empresas que no apoyan la igualdad de género en el ámbito laboral. #VERGÜENZA #IGUALDADGENERO@ONUMujeres @mujerderechoTIC @MujeresIgualdad @CCOO La empresa es Image Copyright @forcada_carla@forcada_carla

Ms Forcada told La Vanguardia newspaper that the email she received made her feel “insulted as she could do the job as well as any man”.

She said she received a later email offering her a job opportunity because “someone in the company knew her”.

To show her anger at the discrimination that she believes she experienced, Ms Forcada tweeted at clients who had contracts with Impulsa Comunicación.

Coca-Cola said that they would not work with the agency any more and expressed their discomfort at Ms Forcada’s experience.

In a tweet, they said that they support companies which have “an inclusive, diverse and equal hiring policy. We are very sorry that our name has been aligned with this discriminatory and unfortunate response”.

Twitter post by @CocaCola_es: La Compañía Coca-Cola no trabaja con Impulsa Comunicación y rechaza este tipo de respuestas discriminatorias. Contamos con una política de contratación inclusiva, diversa e igualitaria. Lamentamos ver nuestro nombre relacionado con esta respuesta discriminatoria y desafortunada.Image Copyright @CocaCola_es@CocaCola_es

Another client of the PR agency is the Spanish division of the window glass repair company Carglass.

In a tweet, Carglass apologised to Ms Forcada “and anyone else who has been offended by this message; we are too. We have expressed our position to Impulsa Comunicación”.

It said that the company “promotes gender equality and acts like these do not represent our position”.

Twitter post by @CarglassEs: Hola @forcada_carla te pedimos disculpas personalmente a ti y a todas las personas que ofendidas por este mensaje, nosotr@s también lo estamos.Ya hemos expresado nuestra posición a Impulsa Comunicación. Nuestra empresa promueve la igualdad de género y actos así no nos representanImage Copyright @CarglassEs@CarglassEs

Impulsa Comunicación has shut down its website. However its director, Pere Terés, told the Spanish newspaper ABC that the situation was a “misunderstanding” and that “in no circumstance would the company accept discrimination”.

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