Job Posting for Receptionist Role Asking for Bathing Suit Photos Sparks Investigation

An Italian company looking for a female receptionist is under investigation by the nation's labor ministry after the job ad asked applicants to include photos of themselves in bathing suits along with their résumés.

"We ask that you send a full photo in a bathing suit or similar," the Naples-based security company's ad read.

The advertisement also asked for candidates who are no older than 30, speak English and have "a sunny character with an attractive appearance."

The bathing suit request has since been removed and the ad reposted, but a screenshot of the original posting on Twitter has already been shared on social media.

To view the full tweet, click here.

The company told the Italian press that the advertisement was "inappropriate" and was written by an "inexperienced worker" who did not understand the company's policy on gender equality.

Italy's labor and social policies minister, Andrea Orlando, has asked inspectors to investigate, The Guardian reported.

Chiara Marciani, the labor councilor for Naples, said the advertisement was "scandalous and for several reasons—beginning with the search for a woman under the age of 30 and a salary that is absurdly inadequate for the commitment and tasks the job requires," according to The Guardian.

The job is listed as paying under 5 euros an hour, or $5.64.

The problem of sexism persists.... There needs to be much more work done on gender equality," Marciani said, according to The Guardian. "There are so many issues that need to be addressed, especially in a city like Naples, which has a very low rate of women in employment."

This past November, Italy's Senate approved a law that banned street advertisements in major cities that are deemed sexist or discriminatory. Some previous advertisements seen on transportation or streets had demeaning messages.

One advertisement that caused controversy was on a billboard in the town of Lizzanello. It advertised for a woman in a French maid costume offering "free for a month" cleaning services, according to The Guardian.

In 2017, advertising for the major jewelry brand Pandora gave a list of "ideal" gift ideas for women in time for Christmas. One ad read, "An iron, pajamas, an apron, a Pandora bracelet," The Guardian reported.

After significant backlash, the company said on Facebook that people were misunderstanding its intentions, noting, "PANDORA has always cared about women and this year wants to help them find the perfect gift under the tree."

"How many of us received something unwelcome at Christmas? This initiative stems from research that has shown that most women always receive the wrong gift at Christmas," the company added.

Newsweek reached out to Italy's Ministry of Labor and Social Policies for comment but did not hear back before publication.

A company in Italy is being investigated by the labor ministry after an advertisement seeking a female receptionist asked for photos of candidates in a bathing suit. Above, activists of the Not One Less movement against the intertwinement of patriarchy, neoliberalism and racism demonstrate in Rome in front of the Ministry of Economy on International Women's Day last March. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images