News

Groans all round as law firm describes receptionist as ‘beautiful’ in Facebook post

By on
21

‘This was a comment made about a woman by another woman’, says Alexander Grace Law

A screenshot of the Facebook post and Debbie Dowie

A law firm has been accused of sexism after it described its new receptionist as “beautiful” in a social media post.

Lancashire law firm Alexander Grace Law posted a photograph of its new receptionist, Debbie Dowie, alongside the caption: “Every law firm needs a beautiful friendly receptionist.”

The post — which appears to have since been deleted, but not before being screenshotted by The Sun — went on to say that Dowie “will be waiting to welcome you all into our brand new office very soon”.

A screenshot of the Facebook post (Credit: The Sun)

Reacting to the post, Dana Denis-Smith, founder of The First and Next 100 Years Projects, which chart the journey of women in law since 1919, told Legal Cheek:

“This is another unfortunate association of women and their role in ‘beautifying’ the workplace. It is just the latest in a line of stories and it is symptomatic of a work culture that continues to objectify women and, in doing so, undermines their credibility.”

Secure your place: The UK Virtual Law Fair Series 2020

Meanwhile, Sophie Walker, chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust, told The Sun newspaper that “our education system, society and culture too often tell us that simply because we are women we are there to be decorative”.

She continued: “Sexist stereotypes for women in the workplace hold them back from fulfilling their potential. We should be looking at what talents, skills and experiences they can bring to the table. Any forward-thinking business should know this.”

A spokesperson for the firm said:

“This was a comment made about a woman by another woman in a law firm where 50 of 56 staff are women.”

The firm hit headlines earlier this year after it called on the service of world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury to open its new Blackpool office. Fury was due to appear in person, however lockdown restrictions meant the firm had to settle for a video message from the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’.

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter

21 Comments

Anonymous

Legal Cheek really shouldn’t throw stones in this regard.

One could just as easily criticise their endless fan-girling over what Lady Hale happens to be wearing.

(122)(9)

Beyoncé

Indeed, or calling her “the Beyoncé of the legal world” or whatever vacuous and ridiculous reference to so called popular culture they have come up with that week.

(72)(3)

Laz

A brooch?

(4)(0)

Anon

Isn’t that Iain Dowie’s wife?

(20)(0)

Great spot

I wonder how many people on this website even know who Iain Dowie is…

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Speak for yourself

(2)(0)

I know who he is

Amazing spot!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

When Dana Denis-Smith and Sophie Walker commented, were they aware that the post was made by a woman in a firm where 50 out of 56 staff are women? It would be interesting to hear their thoughts on gender diversity relating to this firm.

(48)(1)

it is what it is

Women can be subconsciously sexist too 😐

(2)(2)

Anonymous

That was the point.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

What kind of NQ wedge can one expect at Alexander Grace Law?

(18)(7)

Current trainee, soon to be top NQ

The NQ wedge is phat. That’s all you need to know. Hella phat, like real talk phat, enormous.

(9)(5)

Peaches

For me this comment is less about requiring their receptionist to be beautiful (although that is a pretty shallow assessment criteria) , and more about the clear implication that men cannot be receptionists.

(36)(3)

Associate

This is PC gone made. She is a beautiful woman, what is the problem here. Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade. I describe myself on LinkedIn as a handsome associate at the direction of my firm. Do you see the PC brigade having a go at me or my firm? No! Why? I am handsome and I am an associate. What next?

(36)(21)

Mr Swallow

Do people get penalised for describing someone as vain?

(9)(1)

Susan

I come from that town, gotta say it’s such a Lytham thing to write

(11)(0)

Mr Swallow

I went to school there and was more used to writing four sides.

(2)(0)

Training Contract Explorer

What is the nq salary at this law firm ?

(4)(3)

Lambo Connoisseur

It’s most definitely not lambo territory.

(6)(0)

Saba

‘Beautiful’ means different things to different people. In this case I am not sure whether the use of the word is adding value in the right way along with ‘…will attract a lot of visitors’. They could have perhaps instead said helpful, polite receptionist. I don’t think in this case we need to know whether the receptionist is beautiful or not. The skills they have and maybe a line on any hobbies or interests would have been far more appropriate.

(4)(6)

Me

“The Defendant’s submissions were novel and creative. However I have no difficulty in rejecting them”

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories