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Seattle brokerage sends out controversial mailer – is this sexist or are people overreacting?

One Seattle brokerage is being called out for a mailer that is allegedly sexist – is this an overreaction, or is the ad out of line?


Seattle brokerage Costello & Costello sent out the above image as a mailer to consumers, espousing the virtues of a team that is focused. It appears the intention is to echo one sentiment of the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report (commissioned by the National Association of Realtors) which is that part-time agents and untrained agents are threats to the industry (and thus serve the consumer less effectively).

But it isn’t being taken that way

Take for example the original post on the mailer:

It is being translated as a sexist blow not only to women but to men, portraying female agents that balance time with children and work as inferior, and even undercuts fathers’ involvement in family life.

Further, most agents juggle more than one task at a time, and many even work from home. One Facebook commenter said, “The funny thing is that could be me with all my distractions. But I know my clients get my 100% focus when they need me and I’m that much more concerned with giving them quality service.”

Jillayne Schlicke, CEO of CE Forward, Inc. had some harsh words in response: “I would rather work with the multi-tasking female agent in the ad, who has experience handling conflict, minor emergencies, and stress than the two male agents that were not able to locate at least one brain cell that would have devoted a split second of consideration to how this ad portrays their competency.”

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The brokers at Costello & Costello have been asked for a response to clarify their intent and react to accusations of sexism, and we will update this story when they weigh in.

So is this ad sexist?

We’ve all been screaming for years that agents that are jacks of all trades and master of none are a plague to the industry, so this could very well be an attempt to tap into that sentiment and position the two company founders as polished professionals, but it could have been compared to an agent who is also knitting a blanket for their Etsy store, selling candles at their Scentsy parties, giving massages on weekends, delivering the paper in the morning, and so forth.

Do you think this ad is sexist, or are people online simply overreacting?


Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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