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Help wanted

Posted by urufish on June 27, 2007


Every time I read the want ads, I find something I didnt know before.   Probably (hopefully) because my Spanish is getting better…  or maybe it’s because there’s so much to learn there.  

First of all, the distinction between male and female seems much greater than at home.  At home, you cant specifically ask for a particular sex unless the job specifically requires that.  For instance, you cant advertise for a male for as a horseshoe salesman just because few blacksmiths are females.  You certainly can not specify age range.  They do that here a lot.  Chicos, chicas (boys, girls)… Under 25… not over 40.. between 18 and 25. 

Some observations

  • Many ads provide email addresses only.  Others you must come to the address at certain times.  Domestic help is almost always a phone number, frequently a cell.  I dont understand that because the caller has to pay
  • Most advertisements are in the section ‘feminino’.  I always thought that was female.. but I see lots of advertisements for guys there…
  • In the masulino section, I only see ads for guys…  carpenters, electricians, albanils, mostly trades.  Discrimination on this level isn’t allowed in Canada. 
  • The section where they exploit women (girls) is called Trabajos Especiales.. Where else would you see salaries of U$S1000. 

If you are thinking of working here, you might want to try the following employeement/placement agencies.


email: bys@kpmg.com.uy


PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers)




6 Responses to “Help wanted”

  1. Brazzie said

    What you said is true in Brazil as well. You often see ads requiring specific gender and age range. Discrimination by race is strictly forbidden, but nothing is said about gender and age. But since resumes include a picture of the candidate, it can lead to de-facto discrimination of all kinds.

    Years ago, I witnessed a small businessman go through a pile of 400 resumes looking only at the pictures … ugly, ugly, old, fat, fat and ugly, ooh I like this one … once the pile was down to a manageable size, were the resumes actually read.

    Sad, but true.

  2. urufish said

    What categories does the US prohibit employment (and employment advertising) discrimination upon?
    Canada uses race, religion, sex, age and I believe sexual orientation, (not sure if the latter is actually a law or whether the courts decided that one).

  3. urufish said

    If you ask for pictures in Canada, (unless it’s something intuitive like TV models), you run the risk of being charged under the appropriate act.
    The fact you’ve asked for something that conveys the information for the basis of discrimination without a strong argument for needing it, pretty much cooks your goose.

  4. Margarita said

    That is one of the things that drives me up the wall. The blatant, don’t-bother-to-even-pretend, discrimination. Urufish forgot to mention the most common requirement of “buena presencia” or “good looks” stated on most ads.

    When my best friend, a brilliant person who happens to be a lawyer and a translator and who has worked as an advisor to the previous president decided to return to the workforce after a decade of child-rearing, after coming out on top in every IQ test and “psychological assessment” during selection processes at countless top firms in Uruguay, she was usually finally told:

    “Well, it’s between you and X now, but you are too old (early thirties at the time) and you have children. We don’t want mothers, we prefer X who is in his 20s and male.”

    Luckily, or maybe not luckily but rather thanks to her talent and hard work, after a couple of high-profile government jobs in the previous administration, she managed to become a successful corporate lawyer at a new boutique firm that is sweeping the tiny Uruguayan M&A field. But I still get angry when I remember that for years and years nobody would hire her even after recognizing all her true worthiness for a particular job.

    In our own business, something similar happened for ages. For years we had an all-female staff. What a friggin nightmare. It was not a policy per se, it was just inertia, my mother kept replacing one female salesperson or architect or accountant with another one. Then, one day, she hired a man. He stole, lied and screwed us in countless ways, but what a relief it was to have some male presence in the business. Since then, we have evolved to a very balanced mix, and we are delighted with the results, especially as the recruitment pool has doubled!

  5. urufish said

    Long ago, when I was just a tourist to Uruguay, rarely venturing into Montevideo, I observed to my wife one day that it looks like females are over the hill here at 20 (physical attractiveness to local males). I wonder if the same root cause is at work in the workplace when females go over the hill at 30.

    I too have a good female friend, smart, great personality and responsible. She’s in her 40’s, is a veterinarian, has 2 children but has not been able to find employment for the past year because of her sex, age, children and weight. Discrimination of this type is rampant in Uruguay.

    Someone told me years ago that employers prefer to hire very young people because of labour laws and they have to pay them much less compared to an older, more experienced person. We’re talking teens and early 20’s, not late 20’s/30’s.

  6. metambien said

    It might be a Latin American thing. Same thing is true here in Mexico, especially urban Mexico. Ads always specify age, gender, and looks. Bars and dance clubs advertise for meseras guapas (beautiful waitresses). If you are not a pretty woman or a guy, then you out of luck and still unemployed.

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