Bay Area tech companies are paying $50 to $200 an hour per model to have beautiful women attend their parties, chat up the guests and pretend to be friends with their employees, Bloomberg reports.
The news service reports that one agency, the Cre8 Agency, has a party scheduled this weekend for an unnamed San Francisco gaming company, to which it is contracted to send “all good looking” 25 women and five men who will act as “atmosphere models.”
“The company, which she wouldn’t name, has handpicked the models based on photos, made them sign nondisclosure agreements, and given them names of employees to pretend they’re friends with,” according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg also reports on another agency, Models in Tech, that provides a similar service and which says they are seeing a “record number” of requests.
“Olya Ishchukova, chief executive officer of Models in Tech, says she frequently rejects company requests for cleavage and short-shorts,” Bloomberg reports. “…When a client recently asked for Pink Panther-themed latex bodysuits, ‘I pretty much explained to him that this is not what we do—and that could actually hurt his business’ if the public found out.”
Hiring beautiful people to act as eye-candy isn’t a new trend; the Business Times reported on a similar spate of model hiring in the biotech industry in 2016, when “Leggy female models in tight, black dresses — hired to attract male investors to a January biotech party — came to symbolize biotech’s gender divide” when they appeared as paid attendees at a LifeSci Advisors party at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. You can read more about that here.
The news that Silicon Valley companies are still hiring women to attend their parties amidst a year full of sexual misconduct and gender disparity scandals may come as a surprise to some. You can read more about the trend in Bloomberg’s full reporting here.
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