Ernst & Young has come under fire after leaked documents and an astonished employee revealed how women at the company were instructed to dress, look and act a certain way around their male colleagues, HuffPost.com reported.
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“Don’t flaunt your body – sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women),” and maintain a “good haircut, manicured nails, well-cut attire that complements your body type,” are some of the tips provided to the roughly 30 female EY execs who attended the Power-Presence-Purpose – or PPP – training in June 2018.
The outlet received a copy of the 55-page presentation from a woman who attended the day-and-a-half program and “who was appalled by its contents.”
“Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told ... Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.”
Just months before, and again months after, EY was dealing with litigation that came from sexual harassment complaints filed by Jessica Casucci and Karen Ward, both former partners at the company, respectively.
Ward claimed her supervisor texted her in the middle of the night, made comments about her breasts and suggested she join him at strip clubs. She was allegedly retaliated against after complaining to higher-ups, and one senior executive even warned her to “be careful.”
The U.K.-based company – which boasts more than 250,000 employees and $36.4 billion in global revenue – reached a confidential settlement with Casucci who alleged she was groped by a colleague in front of two male co-workers. Meanwhile, officials at the time called Ward’s claims “unfounded and baseless.”
HuffPost cited a woman who used the pseudonym “Jane,” who was an executive director for EY and was an attendee at the seminar, which was run by Marsha Clark, according to the outlet.
Jane no longer works for the company but told the outlet she felt “like a piece of meat” as a result of the advice. According to her notes, which she provided to HuffPost: “Don’t directly confront men in meetings, because men perceive this as threatening. (Women do not.) Meet before (or after) the meeting instead...Don’t talk to a man face-to-face. Men see that as threatening.”
In a statement to HuffPost, an EY spokesperson said: “We are proud of our long-standing commitment to women and deeply committed to creating and fostering an environment of inclusivity and belonging at EY, anything that suggests the contrary is 100% false."
A rep for the company did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
The firm also provided the outlet with a statement from senior exec Stacey Moore, who called PPP “the most impactful leadership program” she had gone through.
"I have always been incredibly proud and humbled to have been a part of it,” Moore said, according to the outlet. “I am forever grateful to the firm for the opportunity and the investment in our women.”