• Fri, Aug 19 2011

HuffPo Wonders Whether Women Should Wear Engagement Rings To Job Interviews

There’s an interesting article up at Huffington Post about whether or not women should wear their engagement rings to interviews. I’ll admit that I opened the post with my mind already half made up, because it takes two to get engaged, and the mere posing of the question implies that only the woman is being judged for something both she and her partner had a hand in.

But I read it anyway, because I’m open-minded that way, and lo and behold, it was as irritating as I thought it would be.

The basic premise is that women who wear big engagement rings won’t be taken seriously, in part because it’s flashy jewelry and that’s poor interviewing practice (circa the 1990′s, I think, but whatever) but mostly because it conveys the impression that she’s got a man who makes a lot of money, so she doesn’t need the job:

In June, a women who worked at the accounting firm KPMG claimed that when she inquired about how to get a salary bump following her maternity leave, she was told that she didn’t need one because she had a nice engagement ring….

Wearing a flashy engagement ring to an interview “has got to be a personal decision,” said Karen Katz, a principal with Forum, one of the largest executive search firms in New York City. “But it could be a damaging one….”

“Unfortunately, it could be perceived as, this person doesn’t really need this job,” Katz said, although she argued that no employer would ever admit that. “If they’ve got a ring that size, they don’t need this job.’”

Now, why anyone would go to the trouble of applying for and interviewing at a job they don’t want is beyond me. But more than that, are companies in the practice of hiring people just because they need jobs? Is that what’s going on in corporate America these days? Companies are doling out salaried positions as charity? Do they want people who are only sticking around in the position out of sheer desperation?

Because of not, and it’s more like companies are hiring whoever they feel is the best candidate, it seems fairly obvious that the size of the ring on a woman’s finger has nothing to do with her ability to do the job, and should no more be considered in whether she gets hired than the brand of suit a man has on.

Anyway, here are some parting thoughts on other ways that those in hiring positions can begin to frame engagement rings in their twisted little Mad-Men-era minds:

  • Maybe the woman bought her own engagement ring.
  • Maybe she’s part of a dual-income household, and are paying off the ring together (happens all the time).
  • Or maybe, the price of her engagement ring is none of your fucking business.
What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Jenny

    I’ve been on a few interviews since being engaged/married and have contemplated the question myself, but for a completely different reason.

    I’m 26 — the ring on my finger can be an indicator of “she’s going to get pregnant soon and want to go on maternity leave, drive up our medical and disability claims, and make us hire a temp”

    Ultimately I decided I wouldn’t want to work for a company that based hiring decisions off of something so stupid and poorly thought out and wore my ring(s) to every interview I’ve ever been on (also, once you’ve worn a ring for a while you get that tell-tale ring dent around your finger ).

  • Lurkeress

    It’s “based on” not “based off of”. Yeesh. Get it right.

  • engagement rings

    engagement rings suites all kinds of women. It will be based on. Cheer :)
    engagement rings

  • Cindy

    Okay … I’m not sure why you think that article’s premise is “that women who wear big engagement rings won’t be taken seriously.” That’s the topic, yes, but the Huffington Post article itself does not take that stance. So there’s really no need for you to find that article irritating.

  • Buzz

    How about – the engagement ring shows you’re probably 2 years away from going on maternity leave.

    As husband to a woman that has spent 9 months looking for a job coming OFF mat leave, it’s quite obvious employers judge women on the number of kids in their lives, not just the number of glowing references.