A law firm's employee memo about professional behavior has gone viral and is being blasted online for what some say are sexist undertones.
Prestigious global law firm Clifford Chance, which has 35 offices in 25 countries, is coming under fire for the five-page guide, sent to all the female employees in its two U.S. offices, in New York and Washington. The tips, including "don't giggle," "don't take your purse up to the podium," and "no one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage" was sent last week and leaked online shortly after.
The legal blog Above the Law acquired the memo and published it. Immediately, commenters began to weigh in with a wide range of opinions. Some felt that the email was sexist, while others thought that the advice was solid despite a couple of clunkers taken out of context.
"Where is the corresponding document for men?" one commenter asked.
"Read the memo and take a lesson from what might apply to you. If some of the points don't apply to you, ignore them and move on," wrote another.
A spokeswoman from Clifford Chance dismisses the allegations that the firm is sexist, saying that the memo was actually written by a woman.
"It was put together by a female partner from her personal perspective after years of public speaking," the rep told TODAY.com. "A lot of the tips in the document were gender-neutral. We believe that it is important that women as well as men are given access to a range of different viewpoints and approaches."
According to Staci Zaretsky, the Above the Law assistant editor and law school grad who posted the memo, the Clifford Chance email was seen as insulting because so many of its tips (like "wear a suit, not your party outfit") seemed obvious.