Bad Ideas, Biglaw, Feminism, Food, Gender, United Kingdom / Great Britain, Women's Issues

Ladies, It’s Time to Get Back in the Kitchen Where You Belong

Or at least that’s what one Biglaw firm seems to think.

Over the weekend, lady lawyers got a serious case of the vapors when word got out that a firm that’s had its fair share of bad press was busy promoting a cooking class for one of its women’s initiatives programs.

Yes, a cooking class — because nothing says “I’m a successful attorney” quite like the ability to serve masterfully prepared hors d’oeuvres (bonus points if the cooking is done while barefoot and/or pregnant).

It’s almost enough to make these women wish they were Lathamed….

We’ve received reports that attorneys in the London office of Latham & Watkins were email-bombed by the firm’s Women Enriching Business Group with what some have called an offensive proposition.

The Lawyer has more information:

Latham & Watkins’ Women Enriching Business (WEB) programme has caused a stir after arranging a canapé-making evening for its members.

One source who received the invite for the event, which takes place on 31 May, said: “I almost fell off my chair laughing when I received an invitation to the ‘Women Enriching Business Group’ and it’s master class on ‘creative canapé making’.”

“It’s wrong on so many levels.”

Latham’s WEB program is supposed to “promote women in business, by creating broader networks and productive business relationships, and by attracting and investing in the long-term success of women.” Sadly, by Latham’s logic, it seems apparent that one of the only ways to ensure long-term success for women is to make sure they know how to turn on an oven.

But perhaps Latham is on to something. Maybe these are the lessons that women need to survive in a male-dominated field. This kind of programming could allow female attorneys to bring something new to the table — like creative canapés. Vivia Chen of the Careerist had this to say of the firm-sponsored cooking class:

Hmm, could there be a hidden logic between making canapés and business? Is Latham delivering a clever retro-progressive message—like the way to your client’s heart is through his stomach?

If that’s true, and this trend carries over to America, then Biglaw clients might want to invest in Immodium. Because let’s face it, even microwaving is hard when you’re accustomed to “cooking” with Seamless.

Latham under fire for holding cooking event for female network [The Lawyer]
News Briefs: Latham Offers Cooking Lessons to Female Lawyers [The Careerist]

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