IT staffing and recruiting company Cynet Systems has finally apologized for its racist job listing that Twitter users spotted last week.
The otherwise fairly standard posting appeared on various sites, including LinkedIn, and began by stipulating that the job candidate be “Preferably Caucasian.”
It should be obvious, but employment discrimination on the basis of race or color is illegal. And it’s only legal to prefer candidates of a specific age, sex, religion or national origin if there’s a “bona fide occupational qualification” that relates to the essence or central mission of the employer’s business.
Twitter user Helena McCabe noticed the ad and wondered how Cynet could think such a blatantly racist post was acceptable.
Uh, hey @cynetjobs – what's with this?Your job listing for a mid-senior level business development position's top qualification is "Preferably Caucasian"How could you POSSIBLY think that's okay? pic.twitter.com/DPWzpgXqqE
— Helena McCabe (@misshelenasue) April 27, 2019
Others piled on:
“You said the quiet part out loud”
— (S) Harold 🍿 █████████ (b)(5) (@haroldsmith3rd) April 28, 2019
I’m not shocked by this but I am shocked the listing doesn’t say “preferably Caucasian male.” Cuz we all know that’s exactly what they mean.
— Book Minded Mag (@BookMindedMag) April 28, 2019
Taking this further. Question: If a caucasian person gets the job are they not offended by the idea that, perhaps the only real reason they got the job is because of their skin color? Sounds like a terrible company to work for with a lackluster value prop.
— Justin Dawkins (@jdawkinsatl) April 28, 2019
Cynet Systems didn’t respond to the outcry until Sunday evening, tweeting that it had terminated the individuals involved in the post.
The company also apologized “for the anger & frustration caused by the offensive job post” and insisted the ad “does not reflect our core values of inclusivity & equality.”
Cynet apologizes for the anger & frustration caused by the offensive job post. It does not reflect our core values of inclusivity & equality. The individuals involved have been terminated. We will take this as a learning experience & will continue to serve our diverse community.
— Cynet Systems (@cynetsystems) April 29, 2019
Not surprisingly, people wanted to know how the ad had even been allowed in the first place.
I think you’re going to have to do more to demonstrate you’re not all a bunch of racists
— Chris Ebert (@realchrisebert) April 29, 2019
Instead of writing something generic as hell like this,maybe explain to us – how did this *happen*? Did a company you work with send in a straight up racist help-wanted ad, and y'all just Ctrl+C Ctrl+V'ed it? Or was it an in person discussion and your employee went "sounds fine"?
— (((Joe McReynolds))) (@McReynoldsJoe) April 29, 2019
One person pointed out that the post helped demonstrate the kind of bias people of color face in the job market.
I'm want to join the outrage over the job posting but, more-so want to express gratitude to the person who posted it not only for showing transparency into your company culture but also for demonstrating the challenges in corporate America that POC continue to face in 2019
— Johnny (@jcsecprof) April 29, 2019
Cynet Systems later sent HuffPost a statement from Co-CEO Ashwani Mayur, expressing regret for the ad and stating that “Both of our owners are Indian-Americans, our workforce is over 60 percent minority, and we are certified as a diversity supplier by the National Minority Supplier Development Council.”
The company said it is “looking at measures to catch offensive or outside-of-policy ads before they ever go live to ensure this can’t happen again.”
This story has been updated with a statement from Cynet Systems.