- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Canadian web design company whose job posting for an SEO specialist went viral this week has apologized for its wording that many on social media deemed sexist.

“Please note that the position requires filling in the responsibilities of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred,” Ontario-based Vestra Inet wrote in its LinkedIn job posting for “Content Writer/SEO Specialist,” which has since been deleted.

Ontario law prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace, and many social media users were quick to point that out in the LinkedIn comments section.

“It’s unbelievable that you think that this is okay to post. I can’t imagine what your work environment must be like for women,” wrote communications professional Samantha Kemp-Jackson, Vox reported.

Vestra Inet issued an apology Tuesday, though it didn’t appear to be well-received among critics.

“We would like to address the attention and comments that we have been receiving after our company posted an advertisement on LinkedIn for the position of ‘Content Writer & SEO Specialist’ with receptionist responsibilities,” the company said in a statement. “Several individuals have found the wording of the ad to be offensive, and we want to assure everyone that we did not mean to discriminate against any particular gender or group. Vestra Inet is a company that believes in promoting diversity. Our staff currently consists of employees of various genders and ethnicities. Above all, Vestra Inet values knowledge and talent.”

LinkedIn user Weibo Chen responded, “This ‘apology’ fails to acknowledge that the wording of that posting was unacceptable and extremely sexist. The company might as well just have said ‘Sorry, but not sorry.’”

“On the upside,” wrote Sarah Bezanson, “if you run a Google search for the company, it’s impossible to miss the sea of articles (including some in publications from Brazil, South Korea and South Africa that I spotted) covering this story. Good lesson in SEO there, eh, Vestra Inet?”

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