Tech companies are paying $200 per hour to hire models for holiday parties — and they want cleavage and short-shorts


Office Boring holiday party
The Office members bored
at a Christmas party

The
Office/NBC


Nothing’s worse than a boring holiday party, so the disruptors in
Silicon Valley have found a way to spice up their soirees: by
hiring pretty people to attend them,
reports Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier

Big companies and small startups alike are enlisting modeling
agencies to send attractive women to attend corporate holiday
parties this year, paying them as much as $200 per hour. 

Some companies may also push the lines with these paid attendees
— the CEO of Models in Tech
told Bloomberg
that she has to shoot down requests for
“cleavage and short shorts.” 

It seems like a minefield — the tech industry, which still has
mostly men in its coveted engineering roles, had to deal with
allegations of toxic, harassing investors this year. Uber, the
most valuable San Francisco startup, fired its CEO over a cascade
of scandals that started when former employee Susan Fowler wrote
that HR had threatened to fire her over her reporting sexual
harassment. (One Uber investor allegedly harassed women at a
holiday party
he brought a live donkey to
.) 

Plus, the tech industry has a history of hiring so-called
booth
babes
” to attract passersby at big-trade shows, which has
caused some major controversies. 

So there’s a lot of risks involved if a startup hires “ambiance
and atmosphere models” for its big holiday party. But what’s
driving the trend, according to Bloomberg, is that the parties
are meant to help retain high-paid, high-demand engineers, who
are mostly men. After all, who wants to go to a boring party with
the same coworkers you see every day? 


The entire BusinessWeek story is a fascinating
read

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