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Valentine’s Day offer to HSBC staff sparks sexist backlash

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On Valentine’s Day, HSBC employees in Hong Kong and London were offered, via their internal chat room, an exclusive and gender-oriented sales deal from a third party. The gesture led to a severe backlash because of its sexist implications.

Called the “HSBC Staff Offer”, the multi-page advertisement categorised its sales pitch to a “for him” and “for her” section.

The “for him” section offered discounted laptop computers, GoPro cameras and wireless headphones, while the “for her” section included five different vacuum cleaners, blenders and kitchen water taps.

“The offer is from a third party source who manage their own marketing materials. HSBC is committed to gender diversity in the workplace,” a spokesman of the banking giant said.

With HSBC’s disclosure on its gender pay gap, this incident has soured relations with its employees, and jeopardises its reputation of being a diverse and inclusive company.

The story was first reported by The Straits Times.

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