I came across this little segment (below) that appeared on the BBC about how many companies employ the use of hot women to lure the mostly male attendees at CES to their booths. In case you are not in the tech industry, the Consumer Electronics Show is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow where major companies exunveil new products, and pretty much everyone in the tech industry attends. The piece did a good job of showing both sides of the story but my question is, is this really even a story?
If you watch the piece, you'll see a woman who works in the tech industry who isn't necessarily offended by the blatant use of the the old adage "sex sells" on the show floor, but rather she finds it "uncomfortable" and "weird" and wishes that the message that this is what her sex is here to do (ie, be sexy) would somehow be different.
Another woman says that the "booth babes" blast an inaccurate message of how women fit into the technology industry.
Hmmm... I wonder what the ratio of female industry attendees at CES is versus the number of sexy booth babes. I'm going to bet that there were thousands of women walking the show floor this week versus the few hundred that were working it. And I'm being generous since this show took place in Vegas after all, and unless something's changed since the last time I was there, a prevailing theme in Vegas happens to be hot women. Also I wonder if there was food being sold within the walls of CES. Were the food sellers indicative of who takes part in the tech industry?
No more than the sexy ladies were, my friends.
Ok, clearly I'm a woman and while I'm not a feminist by any stretch, I believe in equal whatever and not only that, I've been part of the tech industry in one way or another since graduating university. And I'm here to say, this isn't a life thing, it's a world-wide thing. In case you missed the memo, sex sells. And these tradeshows are as much about marketing as they are about anything else.
So I'm not surprised that serious tech companies hired Vegas showgirls to, ahem, handle their product at CES, all that surprises me is how lazy this tactic is. Don't these behemoth brands have high-priced PR agencies and ad firms on the payroll to help them come up with some new, compelling way to stand-out in a crowd? Aside from the animal vile man who asked the gal in the booth for her phone number, are we still so intrigued by a little t & a?
Seems so. I mean, even women (GASP) flock to the stands when People Magazine releases its Sexiest Man Alive feature each year. And I saw MANY women fixing themselves when Harry Connick Jr. took the stage at Blissdom a few years ago. I was there and I know I wasn't that taken with his music. He was just very, very nice to stare at.
Double standard much?
So let's just admit it and get it over with. We can be smart, motivated, successful women AND we can be sexy - why does one compromise the other? In fact, it's my humble opinion that one complements the other. So let's just agree to own it and enjoy the show.