Sexist Legal Memo Tells Women ‘Don’t Giggle, Show Cleavage’ (And Other Fun Tips!)

sexist legal memo

Yet another example of rampant sexism in the professional world, this time, in the form of a legal memo.

Women make up over 33 percent of the legal profession, and more women than ever before are graduating law school and getting jobs at the nation’s top law firms. Yet they still have to put up with flagrant sexism.

It reads like something from the 1950s, but a sexist legal memo that recently surfaced on Above the Law is actually a product of this decade. Clifford Chance, an international law firm with 3,400 legal advisers in 25 countries is under fire for a memo titled Presentation Tips for Women. The shocking legal memo reminds women not to giggle or say the word “like” when making a presentation. And that’s just the beginning.

First off, why do women need a separate list of presentation tips? Whomever pulled this thought-provoking work together obviously had their reasons. Read on–the memo is filled with a slew of stereotypes including “You’re a friendly professional, not a professional friend.” You know, because those women always want to be your best friend [insert sarcasm here]. Other mind blowing tips in the legal memo include:

  • Don’t giggle
  • Work through your nerves: don’t drink caffeine; eat something but not too much; and don’t drink alcohol. (Because women are such lushes.)
  • Don’t take your purse to the podium.
  • Wear a suit, not your party outfit.
  • Wear understated jewelry, nothing jingly or clanky
  • Make sure you can stand in your heels, not trip, and don’t rock back on them.

But none of the tips compares to my very favorite ridiculously sexist comment of all, “No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage.”

Yes, that happened. So while women have made progress in the legal field, it’s no thanks to the sexist individuals like the author of this law firm memo.  Thank you Above the Law for bringing it to everyone’s attention.

Related on EcoSalon:
The Most Ridiculous Quotes About Women 
The Return of the Sacred Masculine
Working Girl to Work Life

Image: didbygraham