Czech nuclear plant under fire for using bikini contest to pick interns

Interns forced into bikini contest
Entrant in the CEZ Temelin nuclear power station's bikini contest. Photo credit: CEZ Temelin / Facebook

While job interviews demand a level of scrutiny, getting close to naked isn't common workplace practice.

But for a nuclear plant in the Czech Republic, a baffling audition process saw the company hold a bikini contest, and call for female candidates to compete for a two-week intern role.

Administrators at Dboule Temelin Nuclear Power Station then selected ten female candidates from the mix, and organised a photo-shoot with the scantily-clad hopefuls in one of the station's cooling towers to decide the victor.

The racy images were posted on the company's Facebook page, and 'fans' were asked to vote and comment on their favourite of the line-up, with the contender with the most 'likes' crowned "Miss Energy 2017".

Now the plant, the largest energy producer in the Czech Republic, has ignited a backlash against what critics have called a "sexist" and "scandalous" recruitment process, with the company forced to apologise.

Representatives said the bikini contest was only one part of a beauty pageant among school graduates, and that they were "trying to make technical education more popular".

Unsurprisingly, many online have expressed disgust at the contest.

CEZ bikini contest entrant
Photo credit: CEZ Temelin / Facebook

"You find the number of likes under half-naked picture of a young lady as adequate and/or tasteful criterion for a career opportunity that is promoted as 'professional?" one Facebook user asked.

Petra Havlíková, a human rights lawyer, told that the competition "is absolutely outside the bounds of ethics".

"In 2017, I find it incredible that someone could gain a professional advantage for their good looks."

After a slew of complaints on the plant's Facebook page, the company said the campaign was "misunderstood" and an apology was issued, along with an offer for internships to all ten young women.

"The purpose of the competition was to promote technical education, but if the original vision raised doubts or concerns, we are very sorry."