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University “Synergy” refused to twins assistants as a prize after accusations of sexism

The winner from Ulyanovsk in exchange received the right to speak at the next business forum – this is his dream.

Prizes from Synergy. Photo @lizafoht
Prizes from Synergy. Photo @lizafoht

The Synergy Corporate University announced the winners of the competition at a business forum at the Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow, where they planned to give live twin assistants for the year for the third place. However, at the moment when the laureate from Ulyanovsk, Leonid Kascheev, took the stage, the presenters canceled the promised prize, the BBC Russian Service reported .

Judging by the video from the ceremony, there was a dialogue between the organizers and the forum participant, during which he easily agreed to change the prize. Whether the winner of the competition knew about the impossibility of getting the twin assistants in advance is unknown. However, after this, as noted by the BBC, the hall whistled.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] – And what city are you from? – Ulyanovsk. – A girl in Ulyanovsk will not go.  – Very sorry. But then … you saw my promo video, I made an appeal to you and ask in exchange for an opportunity to perform on this stage. [/perfectpullquote]
dialogue on the business forum stage

The director of Synergy, Grigory Avetov, noted that both girls live in St. Petersburg and explained that he had changed the prize because of the “dream” of a resident of Ulyanovsk to perform at the Olympic. From the stage, he also spoke about the accusations by the journalist BBC for violating the rights of women. This is a tweet by Elizabeth Focht.

According to Avetova, the prize in the form of two assistants did not mean “nothing yellow” and included a one-year contract – “from nine to six and nothing more.”

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] In this marathon, as a prize may be male twins. Who wants to be twins. No one wants [silence in the hall].  And who twins want to be? [applause in the hall]. We do this for you first and foremost, for students of the Synergy business school. [/perfectpullquote]
Gregory Avetov
director of Synergy, on the forum scene

After that, Avetov called the choice of the forum participant from Ulyanovsk correct and noted that the assistant girls “need to be fed”, which is “not easy”. After the ceremony, he told the BBC that such a prize appeared “more like a joke”.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I just do not feel, I do not discriminate anyone, only I discriminate everyone. Therefore, I did not feel that this was a serious question. So we were on the same wavelength. He [the winner] wanted to speak, but I didn’t want to turn this joke into reality. Therefore agreed to replace. We are not sexists. We are for inequality for women to be cooler than men.[/perfectpullquote]
Gregory Avetov
Director of Synergy

Synergy announced a competition in the format of a “business marathon” back in 2017. The participants, who were promised a tenfold increase in business turnover, had to listen to the lessons of the “mentors” and then do their homework in exchange for points. They promised an apartment for the first place, a Lexus car for the second, and a twin assistant for a year for the third.

Charges of sexism against “Synergy” appeared immediately after the announcement, but then Avetov explained that the university is engaged in business, “and not an escort.” The discontent arose with a new force after recalling the competition on November 26, the first day of the business forum.

Synergy got into a scandal after the seminar of the American motivator Tony Robbins in September 2018. That event was criticized for dubious value, high ticket prices and poor organization. A ticket to the Synergy Global Forum costs from 7.5 to 500 thousand rubles, it was also possible to buy a special ticket for 1.2 million rubles or take them on credit.

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