Sign Seeking Female Job Candidates In Edmond Causes Controversy

Friday, April 6th 2012, 10:13 pm
By: News 9

A marquee sign outside an Edmond business has people doing a double take. A help wanted sign asking for only specific job candidates is stirring up controversy.

If you're a man, you were not wanted for a certain job at Waterloo Auto Services until Friday when the marquee changed after the company took just one word away. News 9 first learned about the sign after a viewer took a photo of it and emailed it to KWTV. The sign said, "Now hiring female lubetech."

"I can only assume that maybe it was a joke, or it was just a mistake made out of ignorance," 17-year-old Abby Cobb said.

Cobb is a soon-to-be high school graduate who is headed to Yale University in the fall. She is the one who sent the photos of the sign to News 9.

"I was just kind of disappointed that they would put a sign out there that was discriminatory against men and women," Cobb said.

Many companies strive for a diverse workforce, but not often do businesses openly admit they are looking for a woman over a man.

"Basically, it's for customer service purposes," Tony Whitson, Waterloo Auto Services manager said. "I've got a whole crew of guys out there. I've had a lot of female customers say how nice it is to have a young lady come up and greet them."

Whitson says the sign was no joke and he meant nothing sexist by it. He says he removed the word female from the sign after filling the position with a woman. Whitson admits he has received some complaints about the message.

"Maybe I could have worded it differently on the sign," Whitson said.

Whitson says the entire help wanted message was not taken down because Waterloo Auto Service is still accepting applications from anyone who is qualified. The woman who was hired for the job tells News 9 she would not have applied if the sign did not indicate that the company was looking for a female employee.