Cynet Systems is a headhunting service in Virginia. They recently published a job posting that has the internet abuzz for all the wrong reasons. The advertisement was for a “mid-senior level business development” professional. That is not what has people talking, though.
Cynet Systems revealed its true colors with the job’s qualifications list because in ‘job description’ field were the words “Preferably Caucasian.” In other words, this is seemingly, in 2019, a Jim Crow-style “whites only” advertisement for employment.
Predictably, the internet took the company to task. The following tweet sums up the reaction:
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 (@misshelenasue) April 27, 2019
The company quickly went into damage control mode and tweeted that those responsible for the racist post have been fired. Here is that tweet:
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
Whether the job posting was for Cynet Systems itself or a client is unclear. Either way, such a job posting will damage the image of any company. Racism in the workplace is not new. However, when its presence in a particular brand is exposed, work has to be done to regain the trust of marginalized communities and their allies.
This was evident when Starbucks closed its stores for diversity training after an incident where the police were called on two black men waiting for a business associate. The world responded to clear racism, and the company acted. It is far too early to see what the full reaction to this incident will be on the part of Cynet Systems. In the age of social media, though, we can most likely rest assured that they will not be allowed to forget this anytime soon.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.