CEO of Cell C, Jose Dos Santos, was slammed yesterday for comments he made about women during an interview on cliffcentral.com. Dos Santos was talking about leadership and while he did say he would like the next CEO to be a woman he caused outrage for saying ‘women do have a b**** switch’ and that Cell C employs ‘good-looking women and clever women’ in senior positions.
Here’s a few excerpts from his interview.
“women do have a bitch-switch and, boy, if you see two women fighting, it’s worse than two men having an argument”
“We have good-looking women, we have clever women, we have smart women and that’s created a different environment”
He also spoke about giving Miss South Africa participants a 12 month intership and what the effect is…
“It brought a whole different atmosphere… I mean, can you imagine, you’ve got 12 gorgeous women and say four, five of them walk into your company. Do you know what it does to the atmosphere in that company, the men dress better, they shave every morning,”
Those comments didn’t go down well on social media.
Plenty more like that.
Dos Santos did issue an apology, but it was also criticised for not being very apologetic.
“As a CEO with a strong track record in the empowerment of female employees, in South Africa and in many other African countries that I have worked in,I am saddened that my stance has been taken out of context.
“The comment I made, when asked about women empowerment was part of a broader interview about leadership on CliffCentral. I regret my choice of words which I realise were offensive.
“I mentioned that in my experience, I have seen instances where women do not support each other to get to the top. This has purely been my observation and perhaps one of several reasons why women are underrepresented in leadership positions.
“This is not an environment that was created by women, but one that has been entrenched in the general workplace. And that is why I have put a lot of effort and focus into the empowerment of all employees, but particularly women at Cell C.”
Here’s the full interview.