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

‘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.”

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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’.

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