Women, and blondes in particular, are too distracting to serve lunch at a summit, according to the director of a catering company hired at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.
The summit is in its second day in The Hague, and leaders from 53 countries have gathered to discuss ways of combating nuclear terrorism.
The catering company responsible for the world summit has made a controversial staffing decision – no female serving staff will be working in the room where the main talks are being held. The company have instead decided to hire men over the age of 25 to create a ‘uniform’ look amongst their staff.
Speaking to Dutch national newspaper the Algemeen Dagblad, Hans van der Linde, director of the catering group said:
“If 20 gentlemen are serving and three platinum blonde ladies, then that spoils the image.
“The personnel needs to act in as reserved a manner as possible, and you can’t achieve that by adding a couple of pretty, conspicuous ladies to the mix”.
Digging a deeper hole for himself, he later went on to Radio 1 to justify his decision, claiming leaders from the Muslim world who were attending the summit may have influenced the decision making:
“They understand that in the West there are different standards, but The Netherlands is a small country that is used to adapting quickly to bigger countries.”
The summit is now being dubbed the ‘Summit of Sexism’ by media organisations and on social media, with a Twitter backlash voicing anger at the decision.
Hans van der Linde has made no signs of overturning his decision by employing women to serve on day three of the talks.