Women Engineers Given Mirrors and Nail Files Swag From Goldman Sachs

 

According to DealBook, Goldman Sachs sponsored a Harvard event for women interested in computer science and gave out cosmetic mirrors and nail files with the Goldman Sachs logo on them as “swag.” T-shirts and keychains were also given out.

“Not sure if this is #sexyfeminism or gender stereotyping,” an attendee wrote on her Instagram account.

Goldman Sachs apologized if the tchokes offended anyone and said they are strong supporters of efforts to recruit women. The organizers of the event said they knew what Goldman was going to hand out and welcomed any kind of free stuff sponsors were willing to give out (“We gladly accept any and all (free) nail files, nail polish, game consoles, food and/or anything else our wonderful sponsors want to send our way!)”—which sounds reasonable enough.

Also, Google gave out socks.

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19 Comments / Post A Comment

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

I’m all for conference swag (socks!!), but here’s a litmus test for stuff given out in professional contexts: would it occur to you to give it to a dude? If not, don’t give it to a lady. (And vice versa, I suppose, although I guess I’m hard-pressed to think of a specifically male-gendered thing that would get given out at a conference.)

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@BillfoldMonkey ^^ this is it. This is literally all it takes.

aardvark (#3,451)

@BillfoldMonkey Axe body spray, if your company was about to go under and you wanted to give your entire industry the middle finger.

They should give nail file/mirrors to men–those things are totally useful regardless of gender. (The patriarchy hurts men with spinach in their teeth and hangnails too?)

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@aardvark It does. The patriarchy is a big jerk. What are the odds, though, that GS would give out nail file/mirror combos if they were hosting an event for all prospective CS students at Harvard?

Chel (#2,960)

@Caitlin with a C They probably would. I work in finance (not at the GS level but I have contact with some of their people) and I have never seen a group of men with better nails. I’ve also seen a few bank and brokerage-type companies set out branded nail files at conferences. Their goal is to give you something you will use so their brand is in front of you on a regular basis. I personally prefer when they bring little toy cars, though.

aardvark (#3,451)

@Caitlin with a C I know. I was making a Humorous Point using a truism.

jillcool (#2,123)

IDK I think people tend to get offended to easily. Take the free stuff and quityerbitchin

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

@jillcool You’re right. If you don’t like something that’s offered to you for free, don’t pick it up. It’s not a difficult decision to make.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

Hijack: what’s the best swag item you have ever gotten?

As a student, my favorite was from a tech company that gave out little reusable pocket lint removers to everyone they interviewed. Brilliant, handy, professional. I still have it years later. As an adult, sometimes I do industry things and get stuff like alcohol and food, which is of course my all-time favorite swag.

@Caitlin with a C Stuffed dinosaur wearing a company t-shirt. I’m in a different industry now, so I removed the little t-shirt, but it is still on my desk. BAM.

Also, one of those clicky pens that doubles as a touchscreen stylus.

I love me some swag.

@Caitlin with a C

I always find chapstick useful (and that’s a gender-neutral one if the fistfuls I see dudes grabbing at conferences is anything to go by)! Coolest is probably the color-changing heat-sensitive ceramic coffee mug I picked up from one of my company’s clients, weirdest is probably the pair of binoculars I was handed once.

@Caitlin with a C Back in the dotcom era, tech vendors used to give out O’Reilly books which was basically giving out cash since they sold on half.com for $20-$30. One conference, I got so many books I shipped a box home since they weighed too much to check in.

Also went to a Food Network event where they gave out a Waterford crystal goblet for wine tasting and a handy Food Network pen on a keychain for rating the wines.

Laurabean (#3,040)

@Caitlin with a C I’m a sucker for coffee mugs. Totally using a swag mug right now, actually. Also, a very cute stuffed droid that did sit on my desk for awhile. I’ve gotten mints in a cute little tin and a wooden puzzle box once that is pretty nifty. And totes, endless, always-appreciated totes.

Socks would be super cool (mittens too actually) since I am always loosing them, but then again perhaps that is the opposite of good swag (from the branding perspective).

@Caitlin with a C Two things – one of those glasses cleaner cloths, and an “ash tray” made from old license plates at the state prison from my home state (my mom picked it up at a conference). I use it as a key drop spot in my foyer.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@polka dots vs stripes Oh man! I totally forgot about the glasses cleaning cloth and _redacted_ industry container of mints that I use every day. I think you win the award for weirdest swag with that ash tray.

@Caitlin with a C Oh I also forget a mint container, which I now use to carry advil in my purse.

Yeah the ash tray is weird, but remarkably useful! Who would have thought. Gotta do something with prisoner’s time and returned license plates I guess…

@Caitlin with a C In the dotcom days, my dad worked for a web hosting company that had an endorsement deal with Shaquille O’Neal (but then again, who didn’t?). We had several of those over-the-door toy basketball hoops and basketballs with the company logo. They were great fun for me and my siblings.

ceereelyo (#3,552)

@Caitlin with a C – I used to get some good swag at food events – the best I ever got was a tea bag sampler in a little wooden box and I got a lot of samples of tea (when I worked in the specialty tea biz) and specialty foods (box of squid ink pasta).

In the insurance biz they are cutting back on the swag quite a bit. At my company it is a big deal if someone finds vintage swag – mugs, key chains, weirdo don’t drink and drive magnets, shot glasses – at some lifer’s desk after they retire.

Dream swag – my friend has a mini beach chair for her cell phone she got at a banking conference, and I would LOVE one of them for my desk. It’s the perfect amount of office kitsch, and at least it would be useful because my phone gets lost under my papers, or I drop it under my desk because I’m such a klutz.

squishycat (#3,000)

@Caitlin with a C The best (or at least, most entertaining) swag bag I have ever gotten was when I was probably 19 and a student arts group I was with got free tickets to opening night of the SF International Film Fest. Understand that by “student arts group” I mean “non-profit, club-like organization for middle and high-school aged kids mostly”, so literally all of us were under twenty. The bags were on the seats, so no one was, like, checking to see who got them, and they included, amongst other things, a mini bottle of Skyy Orange. (Some guy in the row in front of us turned around and said, “hey, kids, give me your vodka!”) Otherwise most of my swag is second-hand, but I’ve gotten to eat, like, my own pint of Haagen Daz because I was volunteering at an event and they were oversupplied. Seriously they just handed us pints and plastic spoons on our break.

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