Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fashion Advice for Lawyers

According to the Daily Mail, and Marie Claire, the law firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been advising its female associates to "embrace their femininity" by wearing stilettos and skirts to work. This advice is apparently part of its efforts to help its staff "project a professional image in the workplace."
PriceWaterhouse anyone?
Twenty years after the United States found that this kind of gender stereotyping amounted to workplace discrimination, things clearly haven't changed very much. In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, United States Supreme Court found that the advice given the Anne Hopkins for how she might make partner, suggesting that she:

walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry

amounted to unlawful discrimination on the basis of her gender.
I wonder if Freshfields will add this bit of sage fashion advice as an appendix to the webpage where it touts the firm's committment to promoting equality and diversity.
Besides, why limit the advice only to the female associates? Surely male associates will also benefit from projecting a professional image through use of stilettos?

(update: see Jan. 9 response post here)


unstricken said...

that's appalling!

Anonymous said...

I think he looks pretty good