"They don't talk to people, all they do is bury their heads in the computer". This is the common impression about software programmers and engineers, if you ask around.
Technology firms on the Mainland have reinforced the nerdy image of programmers by hiring young women as cheerleaders, claiming the move is aimed at motivating the bunch.
In June, an internet company in the Optical Electronics Zone in Chongqing offered between 5000 to 8000 yuan to "cute and outgoing girls" to be programming cheerleaders, first reported on Trending China's Facebook page.
The firm which employs more than 200 male programmers currently has three cheerleaders on board.
Their job duties include getting take-ways for the programmers, providing entertainment like singing, playing guitar and ping-pong, and chit-chatting with them.
A spokeswoman from the company told Oriental Daily that most if the programmers are Otakus and having a few female workers in the office makes the office more lively.
"With the cheerleaders onboard, the programmers seemed more motivated, feedbacks had been positive so far," she said.
It is unknown how many companies have hired such positions but the move certainly does not sit well with the public.
There is a lot of feedback on social media criticising the hiring of these cheerleaders as degrading to women, while stereotyping programmers as being socially challenged.
One user wrote on Facebook: "This sounds like a joke, what a ridiculous and sexist job. It’s like bringing Hooters to the workplace."
"What a ridiculous job, why reduce women to only be valued by their looks and to assist males. Let them have a job at the desk using their minds!" wrote one woman.
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