Created on: February 06, 2013
Enterprise Florida, a business organization that promotes Florida’s job growth, unveiled a new logo and slogan during a press conference late last week that stated “FLORIDA: The Perfect Climate For Business.” The festive atmosphere, which included Florida Governor Rick Scott, turned out to be bad news for the organization.
The publicly funded group is now facing backlash over the new logo because the state’s name featured an orange necktie in place of the “I”. Critics make the case that it’s sexist because women don’t normally wear a necktie.
Pamela Rogan, the President of the Central Florida Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), issued a statement that argued the logo should have featured a briefcase or an iPhone instead of a necktie.
“I thought immediately that it set us back, all the work that we’ve done. It’s not that they have to make it pink or ‘girlie,’ but maybe put a briefcase or something like and iPhone or a smartphone in there to represent business,” said Rogan, who thinks the state will not attract a lot of women now. “There are a lot of other icons I think can better represent business.”
Stuart Doyle, a spokesperson for Enterprise Florida, told the Sun-Sentinel that the tie in the new logo is considered to be a “universal symbol of business.”
Florida consists of more than 587,000 female-owned businesses and is ranked fourth in the country, according to the 2012 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express Open. These businesses employ close to half a million workers and generate more than $77 billion in revenue each year.
Enterprise Florida’s Facebook page has now received a tremendous amount of comments that criticized the new logo. Some of the female posters commented that it was sexist and demeaning to women, while others argued that the business world involves women too.
“I normally don't comment on things like this, but your new logo is beyond sexist,” said commenter Leah Nagel-Joanis. “Not only is it aimed at men through the tie image, it also sends out a ‘men come to Florida because of our beaches’ message. Florida = beaches/ocean = bikinis. And, for the record, I know some men who agree with me and now dislike you.”
Others, though, didn’t take any exception to the new logo. A lot of Facebook users actually criticized those for condemning something deemed trivial.
“There is nothing sexiest about a tie. Many women today wear them. Have we really become a nation of individuals that are so petty that we have to find a flaw in everything around us,” wrote Joseph Gauthier.
Despite the negative media attention, Enterprise Florida has not indicated that it has any intentions to change its logo, according to Enterprise Florida Public Relations Manager Sean Helton, who noted that the company interviewed 25 female executives prior to the logo being released and none of them had showed concern.
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