Global accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), are continuing to investigate an incident, where male staff in their Dublin office were found to be circulating emails where they rated the looks of new female colleagues.

Earlier this week it emerged that 17 male employees, including 2 senior associates, had circulated an email containing the pictures of 13 junior female employees, with the subject line “This would be my shortlist for the top ten”.

One PwC employer reportedly replied: "Great work ... have reservations about the last one getting in."

Having recently finished college, the young women had joined the accountancy firm as trainee accountants. Their photographs had been taken from the company intranet site, along with their names and job descriptions.

The original circular was sent among 17 male staff members before been forwarded to other businesses and then becoming viral on the Internet.

The accountancy firm which employs 2,000 people in Ireland, launched an investigation earlier this week but  has refused to say how the men will be disciplined.

A PwC spokesman said: "We are taking all the necessary steps and actions in accordance with our firm's policies and procedures. Our main concern is the impact of this matter on the women who were the subject of these emails.

"We are meeting with them regularly to offer them every reassurance that they have the full support of the firm in dealing with this very difficult issue for them.

"We deeply regret this situation as we require our people to always adhere to the highest level of standards in their conduct and behavior," he added.