Australia's Optus on Back Foot After 'Anglo Saxon' Job Ad
Optus, Australia's second-largest network operator, is in firefighting mode following the circulation of a job advert from one of its retail stores that stated a preference for "Anglo Saxon" applicants.
The service provider, part of the Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) empire, has begun an investigation after the advert for one of its retail stores in Neutral Bay, Sydney, appeared on an employment portal and was then circulated on Twitter. The advert, for a Retail Consultant, stated a preference for "Candidates who are Anglo Saxon and live near to Neutral Bay."
Reports from the Australian media suggest that no one seems to know, or wants to admit, who wrote and posted the job advert, though in this digital age it shouldn't take long to figure it out. Staff at the store told ABC that the store's manager was due back at work on Monday.
Optus, which promotes its inclusive culture on its website, has removed the advert, issued apologies (see tweet below), and stated that those responsible will face disciplinary action.
Optus proudly supports diversity and inclusion. A job advert posted on a website today is a clear breach of Optus values and our commitment to equal opportunity employment. We’ve removed the advert and are investigating how this occurred and offer an unreserved apology.— Optus (@Optus) April 13, 2018
The issue has, of course, raised questions about the process used to publicize jobs from any part of the Optus empire, from the boardroom to the retail stores. If the advert was cleared through a recognized human resources chain of approval, then it's likely that a number of Optus staffers might find themselves seeking new employment next week.
Optus, the main rival to Australia's national operator Telstra, has about 10 million mobile and 1.2 million broadband customers.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading