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It’s National Electronics Week! You know you’re excited. How could you not be? According to this press release, it’s ‘the UK’s premier electronics industry exhibition’:

National Electronics Week (NEW) was conceived to provide an event that showcases every aspect of today’s electronics market including the latest innovations in electronic design, silicon, hardware systems, software design, components, test tools, assembly equipment, production systems, contract manufacturing services and distribution.

How pleased am I then that XJTAG is sponsoring the event for three years. That was rhetorical, hence the lack of question mark. I’m not pleased. I’m amazed. Simon Payne, CEO of XJTAG explains why his company decided to get involved:

XJTAG decided to support the National Electronics Week as the organisers are committed to creating a dynamic event with an international dimension. Here, at last, is an opportunity for the leading UK-based companies and universities to highlight their world-class innovative talents in research and development at a UK event

And how has Simon Payne decided to show this ‘support’ for ‘world-class innovative talents in research and development’? By providing ‘XJTAG girls’ to greet delegates as they enter the venue.

Here it is from the press release, which I received an excerpt of by email yesterday:

We urge everyone to come along to the event, celebrate our world class capabilities and put the UK electronics industry back on the map,” added Simon Payne. “The event is far more than a showcase of products and services, it is a major networking opportunity, a place to interact face-to-face and cross-fertilise with peers in the industry.”

The XJTAG girls – follow the link below to download a high resolution image – will be welcoming visitors to this inaugural event. The XJTAG team will be on stand C61.

How can you not laugh? On the one hand, the event is about ‘world class capabilities’, putting the ‘UK electronics industry back on the map’, ‘major networking’, and interacting with ‘peers in the industry’. On the other, it’s a show room where the already low numbers of women likely to come by (because the numbers of women in science, technology and engineering are low and lowering) will be made to feel even more out of place and unwelcome as they are greeted by models that mock their involvement in science by their outfits, postures, use of hard hats (a reliable source tells me that there’s not much need for them in the field of electronics), and their very name – ‘girls’. I mean, seriously?

Here’s the link to the image, but it no longer works! Fortunately, we have a screen shot, below, clearly showing that it was once available on XJTAG’s website. You can also see more shots on Simon Payne’s own profile here.

From the same press release:

Photo caption: XJTAG’s international models Gemma Massey and Laurena Lacey will be welcoming visitors to National Electronics Week at Earls Court (17-19 June).

Where did the pictures go? Some active women got it taken down! By the time I received the email, they were already gone and the news going ’round is that the female event organizer, the CEO, the company office and the contact listed on the press release were all targeted about them. Go team!

Thanks to Jan for the head’s up.