Main Discussion

White and Case Coffee dates with partners
Rate it
0
Report as offensive
struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:30
Have we done this yet?

I remember something similar when I was a trainee and the partner next door was so nervous about actually having an hour alone with his (female) trainee that he dragooned my supervisor and I into joining him and we had a 4 way lunch. It was fun but bizarre and so long ago that he wouldn’t have the MeToo concerns that would arise these days
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:34
Report as offensive
there would only be a 'metoo' concern if said partner engaged in bad behaviour. metoo doesn't mean that men can't have coffee with women.
Chambers
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:35
Report as offensive
We all just went down the pub after work once in a while.
Massive fuckwit
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:43
Report as offensive
Any sensible guy should have been "me too" aware since at least the PC days of the 90's. Not just for his own behaviour but the risk of being perceived to have been in a compromising position. Personally if I felt a female colleague was a fruit loop I'd make sure I wasn't alone in a room with them or at least keep the door ajar so people could see nothing unprofessional was going on.
fumio
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:47
Report as offensive
Wot MF said ffs
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:47
Report as offensive
any sensible guy shouldn't be putting himself in a 'metoo' situation by avoiding being letchy.

hth.
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:47
Report as offensive
Some of you sound like mike pence.
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:48
Report as offensive
seriously? are we really doing this? do people really feel the need to keep their doors open or have witnesses in the room?
Chambers
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:49
Report as offensive
Heh. We all just got on Tecco, didn't need a directive from above.

I haven't heard from Barry for years, he's somewhere in Alaska now I think.

Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:54
Report as offensive
do people really feel the need to keep their doors open or have witnesses in the room?


when one of my female superiors accused me of sexism because I refused her instructions to do something illegal, I always made sure that I never spoke with her in private, had someone present in the room every time she walked in and always always kept the door open.
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:56
Report as offensive
did you take your concerns to your HR team? if that was their advice, then fair enough, but i would never preemptively take any of those actions, just because i thought someone looked a bit of a "fruit loop".
Bloody Nora
Posted - 10 August 2018 13:58
Report as offensive
When I was a student I did some admin work for a photographer who mostly did family portraits but had started to branch out into "photo shoots" for teen birthday parties. (I know. Vom.) If ever his wife wasn't available he used to pay me to just sit in the room.
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:06
Report as offensive
Having a chaperone with minors is a bit different
Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:08
Report as offensive
heh @ coben's considered response.
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:12
Report as offensive
shrug. tug-lite on what you do - i just find it baffling that some men still struggle with the concept of 'metoo' and their apparent fear of it.
Bloody Nora
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:14
Report as offensive
It was a bit of an eye opener though, Hoolie, in lots of ways.

And it was also a markedly different approach to a former teacher of mine who had appointed himself the "unofficial photographer" for all school events, who took every opportunity to get female students alone and who I later heard had been sacked for some kind of misconduct. His LinkedIn profile now describes him as having been a photographer for 30 years and makes absolutely no reference to his lengthy teaching career.

If Wang is reading this, he may know who I am talking about.
Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:14
Report as offensive
don't confuse your debate on metoo with others here with the example I gave which was to a specific question.

Any man would do the same as I did and HR bods are usually unhelpful to answer your specific point about HR
struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:17
Report as offensive
Tecco speaks true on this thread. Leaving the door open etc in the office is a little extreme (unless you have reason to suspect that particular woman, as in the Capt Haddock example). But in general if you increase the risk perception of men you cannot expect them not to take measures to mitigate that risk, whether that is the full on Mike Pence rule or something short of that.

Fun fact the Mike Pence rule was the Billy Graham rule before it was the Mike Pence rule..
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:17
Report as offensive
in what way is it 'pre-emotive' (assume a typo for preemptive), tecco?

no, not every man would do the same Capt Haddock. and fine, if you're talking about a specific example, but advice to ignore/bypass HR (again, not DIRECTLY from you) is odd. IMO.
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:20
Report as offensive
If you doubt your own ability to interact with women without being accused of sexual harassment then it probably is better not to be alone with them.

It's pretty funny tho to see the indignation of men about this, men who are totally blind to the precautions women take just to try to exist.
Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:21
Report as offensive
no, not every man would do the same Capt Haddock.

are you a man?

Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:22
Report as offensive
It's pretty funny tho to see the indignation of men about this, men who are totally blind to the precautions women take just to try to exist.

And yet it is pretty funny to see the indignation of women about this, women who are totally blind to theprecautions men take just to try not to be maliciously targetted.
struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:22
Report as offensive
Not to put words in Teccos mouth but I think his point was not so much that HR should be ignored - more that you shouldn’t go to them thinking they have your interests at heart because their job is to protect management first and foremost
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:25
Report as offensive
I'm not indignant. I just think it's insane behaviour to be so convinced that you will be maliciously targeted with a false harassment or assault claim that you don't want to be alone with a female colleague.

You carry on I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise
Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:27
Report as offensive
if the first instance is malicious, hard to imagine the subsequent conduct will be a positive one and one is right to take precautions.

As for You carry on I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise - you too.
Buzz.
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:28
Report as offensive
There isn't a single ounce of indignation expressed on this thread.
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:30
Report as offensive
I'm not actually directly addressing my posts to you haddock. You are one person with one specific interaction with a colleague you have had a problem with.

That's not the same as taking this approach with every woman you encounter professionally, which is what some on this thread are advocating. If that's what you also do, then yes I think it's nuts.
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:34
Report as offensive
yeah, haddock, to the extent it matters (it doesn't) i am a man. your turn.
struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:41
Report as offensive
Not sure who is advocating it coben. I said it is not surprising that men take measures to mitigate their risk in this environment but I thought some of the measures like never being alone with a woman were extreme unless there was a specific cause for concern.

I think it is important for men (and women but the context is different) to be aware of how their actions might be perceived and used against them (potentially). It doesn’t mean it will happen but it’s about managing risk.
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:48
Report as offensive
Is it being "used" against them if their behaviour is capable of being perceived as creepy or inappropriate and someone does so? That's not "using" anything.
Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:51
Report as offensive
That's not the same as taking this approach with every woman you encounter professionally, which is what some on this thread are advocating. If that's what you also do, then yes I think it's nuts.

that would actually be nuts, hoolie.

coben - then all god speed to you that you hold private conversations / exchanges with anyone who would accuse you or sexism when there is no basis and more so the accusation was to force you to do something illegal. I am sure you will be fine.
coben
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:54
Report as offensive
haddock - you'll note that i did specifically say "fine, if you're talking about a specific example, but advice to ignore/bypass HR (again, not DIRECTLY from you) is odd. IMO."

but y'know... way to go....
Captain Mal
Posted - 10 August 2018 14:59
Report as offensive
Better to shut the door and have everyone think you're a pervy old man than leave it open and have them know.
Hot Felon
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:01
Report as offensive
Hoolie on fire today
struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:01
Report as offensive
That is the point hoolie. Literally anything is “capable” of being “perceived as creepy”. It’s entirely subjective and anyone accused can lose their career over it. That’s exactly why many men put risk mitigation measures in place
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:04
Report as offensive
ni it isn't stru. I have never perceived anything a male colleague has said or done to me as creepy or inappropriate, because fortunately that has never happened.



Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:05
Report as offensive
And what trimp said
Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:10
Report as offensive
heh @ trimp's contribution.

it is remarkable that a man is automatically creepy if he elects to take preemptive precautions if, in his opinion, there is reasonable basis to do so.

cool

struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:13
Report as offensive
And I’m glad hoolie. This sort of thing is pretty rare in absolute terms. But social changes like metoo have consequences.

I remember years ago a female friend (we were trainees at different firms) telling
Me how she ended up in a strip club with a bunch of male lawyers and trainees after a night of drinking. She’d had a great time and did not think there was anything inappropriate about the evening. Another female trainee might have been upset and thought the whole thing was misogynistic and degrading. In today’s environment it doesn’t make sense for a group like that to risk taking a woman with them because they don’t know if she will react like my friend (who later qualified in that dept) or destroy all their careers and put them in ROF news with one complaint (or even worse wait till she didn’t get a qualification offer and then complain).

Donald Trimp - you realise that sentence makes no sense right? The men who actually harass and assault women aren’t the ones who are refusing to meet women alone and distancing themselves - that would mean they can’t do it anymore. And if they did do so we should all be grateful..
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:18
Report as offensive
Oh fgs srsly


To summarise :

"We can't socialise and get to know the more senior lawyers over a fun night gawping at trafficked women anymore without someone getting all #metoo about it"

Ok dude



Capt Haddock
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:20
Report as offensive
he reasonable basis meaning he cant be trusted, yeah I know m8

so the underlying presumption always is that men are creepy.

Another sound observation
Captain Mal
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:22
Report as offensive
I remember years ago a female friend (we were trainees at different firms) telling
Me how she ended up in a strip club with a bunch of male lawyers and trainees after a night of drinking. She’d had a great time and did not think there was anything inappropriate about the evening. Another female trainee might have been upset and thought the whole thing was misogynistic and degrading. In today’s environment it doesn’t make sense for a group like that to risk taking a woman with them because they don’t know if she will react like my friend (who later qualified in that dept) or destroy all their careers and put them in ROF news with one complaint (or even worse wait till she didn’t get a qualification offer and then complain).


heh, didn't you have a worse example you could have brought up?

No friends who were raped while drunk but then fell in love with their attackers?
Hot Felon
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:27
Report as offensive
Hoolie' did I see you outside Burgess Salmon the other day?
struandirk
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:28
Report as offensive
Heh@Captain Mal
Misshoolie
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:28
Report as offensive
I doubt it tarquin
bezel without a cause
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:30
Report as offensive
If it’s coffee and dates, sure. But we get that here for free every day of the year.
Hot Felon
Posted - 10 August 2018 15:55
Report as offensive
I did ask the girl whether she was Hoolie

I just assumed you were playing hard to get
Oslama
Posted - 10 August 2018 16:56
Report as offensive
Top tip: get round this by employing no women
Crazy Puppy
Posted - 10 August 2018 17:20
Report as offensive
The issue is almost always post work drinks. I have never had any problems in the workplace, but I have had a female colleague try and snog me when we were the only two people left on a work nights out.

I also had a chance meeting in a bar with a very senior female lawyer who was a bit drunk and probably a bit inappropriate. I just laughed it off as bantz but if it was the other way round it could easily have been a #metoo moment.

I used to be a cop before I qualified as a solicitor. I didn't like dealing with females when I was single crewed. It's all too easy for someone to make a complaint that you tried to touch them up during the arrest and next thing you know you are removed from front line duties pending investigation.
Oslama
Posted - 10 August 2018 17:25
Report as offensive
Blimey its the rozzers!
Massive fuckwit
Posted - 10 August 2018 18:57
Report as offensive
Clearly there's no need to treat all female colleagues as fruit loops. Just the one's whose borderline/ actually unhinged behaviour suggests they might be. Better to have a false positive than a false negative when it comes to this kind of thing.
fumio
Posted - 10 August 2018 20:46
Report as offensive
Absolute state of this.
The Nutsacker Ballet
Posted - 11 August 2018 07:26
Report as offensive
"there would only be a 'metoo' concern if said partner engaged in bad behaviour. metoo doesn't mean that men can't have coffee with women"

This is a good post. No, it hasn't become a difficult time in which to be a man/a high profile man/a law firm partner. It's just become a more difficult time in which to be abusive. Good.
The Nutsacker Ballet
Posted - 11 August 2018 08:50
Report as offensive
Also what MF and fumio said.

The concerns underlying #metoo aren’t new and oughtnt be news, despite social media’s tendency to think it invented everything. Most people were surprised to learn that people like Weinstein still thought they could get away with this stuff (let alone that they did get away with it, for many years).
Groot
Posted - 11 August 2018 11:49
Report as offensive
Not sure I see any of this tbh

I do tend to ask permission to shut the office door if it is a female trainee/junior and we are going on a conference call or discussing something better kept private. We were told to do that a few years ago and now it’s habit and feels polite. Maybe I should ask male trainees permission too. I’m pretty predatory, just not sexually.
Excession
Posted - 11 August 2018 13:30
Report as offensive
Whenever I interview a female candidate or meet a woman to sound her out for a job I always make sure I take another woman along.
It's not that I'm worried about false allegations etc. It's just that it puts them at their ease knowing that none of that sort of sh*t will be going on.

Actually in the office - there is so obviously none of that sh8t going on that there's no need to worry about shutting doors for con calls etc...
3-ducks
Posted - 11 August 2018 16:50
Report as offensive
These #metoo stuff has surely put paid to this sort of thing surely?
3-ducks
Posted - 11 August 2018 16:51
Report as offensive
Oh or wot Stru said
Oslama
Posted - 11 August 2018 16:56
Report as offensive
Given there are women happy to see men go to jail falsely for rape i dont think you can blame some men from being cautious about their livelihoods
The Nutsacker Ballet
Posted - 12 August 2018 07:29
Report as offensive
“Whenever I interview a female candidate or meet a woman to sound her out for a job I always make sure I take another woman along.”

Good lord.

Some of you really do seem to struggle to navigate human relationships with any degree of intuition.
Oslama
Posted - 12 August 2018 07:43
Report as offensive
maybe its different in Honkers?
Ash89
Posted - 12 August 2018 11:50
Report as offensive
I don't see what the issue with this document is. It's very easy for those who've spent so long climbing up the greasy pole to partnership that they should make time to connect with their colleagues. This is especially true for those who are socially awkward...
struandirk
Posted - 12 August 2018 14:42
Report as offensive
Prize for Ash as the only person to respond to the OP, 80 posts in..

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the coffee dates as such. More that it kind of ham handedly turns something that should be a natural process into being artificial and formal.
Ash89
Posted - 12 August 2018 14:51
Report as offensive
Cat on a hot tin ceiling
Posted - 12 August 2018 15:38
Report as offensive
I am pretty sure official work events with alcohol at them will be gone in the UK within 10 years tbh. It may be no bad thing.

The big corporates are already heading in that direction I think.

Asking somebody permission before you shut the door to your office is fvcking weird though. If you are going on a conference call the door is shut, ffs. It's teaching people this sort of nonsense that gives the underlying (100% reasonable) message of don't be an abuse ar8ehole a bad name and leads to paranoia.
Chambers
Posted - 12 August 2018 15:59
Report as offensive
White and Case sound like they have a bit of a cultural issue. You could call it paranoia.

Excession
Posted - 12 August 2018 22:27
Report as offensive
“Whenever I interview a female candidate or meet a woman to sound her out for a job I always make sure I take another woman along.”

Good lord.

Some of you really do seem to struggle to navigate human relationships with any degree of intuition.

Really? I'm a middle aged partner interviewing a 20 or 30 something woman for a job.
In the case of paralegals or trainees it may even be their first job. Do you think they are going to be more comfortable with or without another woman in the room?

It's not about legal risk or my comfort.
I'll chat happily to anyone - it's about putting them at their ease that this is the sort of firm where that kittens doesn't go on...

Cru de Ville
Posted - 13 August 2018 11:18
Report as offensive
Jesus. Some of y'all are fvcked up (and for once, that doesn't include Laz). How the hell did you get this way?
Bloody Nora
Posted - 13 August 2018 11:20
Report as offensive
Really? I'm a middle aged partner interviewing a 20 or 30 something woman for a job.
In the case of paralegals or trainees it may even be their first job. Do you think they are going to be more comfortable with or without another woman in the room?


I think all of my training contract / vac scheme interviews were with two men.

It didn't even cross my mind to worry about it.
Bloody Nora
Posted - 13 August 2018 11:21
Report as offensive
And what Cru said, obviously.
KeithCurle
Posted - 13 August 2018 11:23
Report as offensive
A load of lawyers going to a strip club together just screams “I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 22 but look what a bloody lad I am now”
struandirk
Posted - 13 August 2018 12:26
Report as offensive
And right on schedule, an article about the backlash to MeToo, in Canada of all places, illustrating exactly the concerns raised on this thread:

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/08/02/metoo-backlash-corporate-canada_a_23494668 /

"A lawyer is asked whether a male executive should leave the door open when meeting with a woman.

A consultant's longtime male client will only take a meeting with her if someone else is in the room.

A public relations executive hears from senior business leaders who say they are shying away from mentoring young women.

The revelations relayed to The Canadian Press about being a woman in corporate Canada in recent months offer a glimpse into a male-dominated workforce that is quietly grappling with the unintended consequences of the Me Too movement.

...

Still, women in business say they are facing a resulting "chilling effect" on their relationships with male colleagues and supervisors.

They reported a noticeable decline in invitations to meetings, business trips and dinners — gatherings considered invaluable for career advancement.

More importantly, they added, senior executives are increasingly hesitant to mentor female employees.
.
..."
Jabberwangy
Posted - 13 August 2018 12:31
Report as offensive
"A load of lawyers going to a strip club together just screams “I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 22 but look what a bloody lad I am now” "

I was on a work night out last year and there was a clamour from the juniors (all women) for a late night drink. They directed us all to this place in the west end (forget where) and the bouncer said "just remember, no touching". At that point I made it clear that this was not a good idea and went home (as did all the others tbf).

Back in trainee times I know loads of stories of them being taken to strip clubs etc by partners, I think it was the tail end of the norm back then. Particularly in expat land...
Groot
Posted - 13 August 2018 12:36
Report as offensive
Cat on a hot tin ceiling
Posted - 12 August 2018 15:38 Report as offensive Report Offensive
...
Asking somebody permission before you shut the door to your office is fvcking weird though.



Is it? I always find it a bit ominous when someone comes in and shuts the door behind them without any polite comment as to why
Oslama
Posted - 13 August 2018 12:39
Report as offensive
They want their office back serge
struandirk
Posted - 13 August 2018 12:39
Report as offensive
C'mon guys - tun me up.

PS - Read the comments to the HuffPo piece too, from the men and the women - it tells you a lot about how they feel.
Groot
Posted - 13 August 2018 12:42
Report as offensive
ossie m7 - I will award u a heh 4 that
Capt Haddock
Posted - 13 August 2018 15:44
Report as offensive
They fear the misguided actions of some male leaders could instead reinforce the door to the old boys' club, further hindering the hard-fought progress made by the few women able to climb to the top of the corporate ladder.

close the door - men's fault.

leave the door open - men's fault.

But I agree that this has had pernicious effect on the general progress in women's advancement to top jobs at work.

struandirk
Posted - 13 August 2018 15:59
Report as offensive
Lol@Captain Haddock. Unintended consequences are a bitch
struandirk
Posted - 13 August 2018 16:02
Report as offensive
One of the comments from Huff PO:

“This is exactly what women want. Making sure any woman could destroy an innocent man's life with a 10 second phone call. Women cheer metoo and the resulting destruction of innocent men. This is what men must resort to, not as backlash, but for survival and self defense. Any woman can say anything about any man she worked for- even that he touched my back 30 years ago, and have this man's life destroyed forever, not being allowed to ever work again even. So this is what women must now accept. No smart man would ever be alone with a woman at work. Never speak to a woman at work without others present. No more jokes. No more conversation with women unless it's absolutely necessary for work. This is what women have chosen to now accept.”
Capt Haddock
Posted - 14 August 2018 08:52
Report as offensive
I think thugs and bullies like Weinstein deserve the limelight on them and that they suffer the consequences.

But what is tragic in this entire saga is that there have been many stories about women making false allegations and the accusations have ruined a person's life, career and family with no consequences for the one who made the false allegation.

Most reasonable people recognise the gravity of rape and sexual aggression and those should be deterred and dealt with. But it is unhelpful when some of the leading women cannot come to support the premise of anonymity of the accused until first guilty verdict.
It is not a novel solution and this is something many jurisdictions apply. Except in countries where trial by media is the norm.
struandirk
Posted - 14 August 2018 14:03
Report as offensive
Boot on the other foot at NYU:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/13/nyregion/sexual-harassment-nyu-female-profess or.html

More than the “lesbian professor sexually harassed gay male grad student and is suspended after he produces written evidence” angle what is interesting is the letter written to NYU by a circle of feminist academics saying she deserves leniency because of her professional stature and that it is perverting the intent of MeToo to apply it in this context [i can only assume they mean against a woman] and that the accuser shouldn’t be believed because he waited two years to report it (till he graduated and got a job) and he is just sour because he prod didn’t give him good recommendations etc. All despite damning written proof and emails.

I wonder what the same profs would have said if a male professor had been accused by a woman (no I don’t wonder really - I have a pretty good idea).