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Businessweek News Site Removes Poll About 'Most Attractive Females' After Weekend Backlash

Nothing says "We don't take women in business seriously" like ranking women based on their looks.

Bloomberg's Businessweek polled its followers Friday evening about which business schools had the most attractive females. As one might expect, the poll was met with criticism with many asking "what were they thinking?" in posing such a question.

The Daily Dot reported the question posted on Businessweek's Face/Off was exactly this: “Which business school has the most attractive female students?” The poll was then tweeted. The Daily Dot calls the criticism of the question "slow to build" but "severe." Eventually, Businessweek removed both the poll and the tweet. But Google's cache has shows the page here.

Screenshot of the poll removed by Businessweek. (Image: Google cache)

Face/Off is the site's new "social voting game" that was just introduced last week.

Before being taken down, the page itself had 18 comments from Facebook users. One user called it a "serious mistake" and others couldn't believe that it came from Bloomberg. Rachel Sklar wrote:

Nothing says "We don't take women in business seriously" like ranking women based on their looks. This demeans every woman who works at your magazine, every woman you've ever covered, and pretty much every woman ever. And it is meant to. Know that this is intentional sexism. Whomever was responsible for publishing this knew exactly what kind of message it sent. That it got sent from BUSINESSWEEK makes it all the more stunning. Fix. This. Fast.

This image shows all the contenders. (Image: Google cache)

The Daily Dot's Aja Romano wonders just what Businessweek's staff was thinking when they decided upon this question, but she poses this speculation:

What were Businessweek execs thinking when they put up the poll to begin with? Probably that this year would be no different from the other three years they’d published similar rankings of colleges by hotness.

In 2009, Businessweek published an article called “Campus Life: A Report Card.” “It's important to understand what the universities that house the top business programs are really like,” claimed the article. The next year, they repeated the article, this time with a slide show purporting to list the “Fifty Colleges with the Hottest Guys, Girls, and Nightlife.” And by 2011, they were confident enough to declare it a yearly event.

The lists generated virtually no discussion. In 2010, a Huffington Post syndication of the list garnered comments about the drug scene on certain campuses, but little else. On the Bloomberg Businessweek website, comments were absent altogether.

Romano then went on to write that if Businessweek had included good looking men in its poll, the ranking based on hotness could have continued to be missed by many.

Businessweek issued this statement regarding the polls:

We regret issuing two online polls last week that asked our readers to comment on which business schools had the most attractive male and female students. The Face/Off polls have been taken down from businessweek.com. They were in poor taste and undermine the tremendous value our Business Schools vertical provides.

Related:

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include Bloomberg's statement. TheBlaze also erroneously posted that Bloomberg had not yet issued a statement regarding the poll at the time the story was posted but it in fact had. 

(H/T: Business Insider)

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