By Peg Johnston • April 26, 2007•Firms and the Private Sector
The blog "Above the Law" has this snarky post today about a woman only attorney-client event that centered around designer shoe shopping.
Okay, disclaimer #1: I love shoes. I'm addicted to designer shoes.
Disclaimer #2: I like to shop for my shoes alone. I dislike having my husband or friends there and I really can't stand having my kids there. I feel like the shoe shopping process needs to be deliberate and cannot be rushed. I also understand that the process drags on for spectators, kind of like baseball does for me when I'm a spectator while it is certainly invigorating for those taking part in the game.
Putting aside my affinity for shopping all by my lonesome, I still have mixed feelings about these sorts of events.
On the one hand, I think they are enjoyable and, if done correctly, provide a great atmosphere for women to socialize, network, and perhaps get some real deal negotiating done as often happens on the golf course.
On the other hand, they are very limiting in that only women are present. What if I really need to network with some male partners that have control of a deal team I want to get on? What if the clients that need my attention all have male CEOs and general counsels?
I have some experience with these sorts of events, albeit not shoe shopping specifically. I've attended firm functions that were women only cocktail parties and women only spa outings. I found that I really enjoyed them. We women talked, networked, even gossiped a little (which I know is counterproductive but enjoy nevertheless), and probably felt a little free-er to express our emotions and true feelings more than we would have if men were among the group. There is some productivity in that.
However, these events served to embolden the men to hold male-only events that were either golfing, surfing, or some other sporting event. I admit to feeling jealous. I wanted to golf, I wanted to surf.
I also recognize that the men were likely jealous when we all headed to the spa.
Jealousy-- well, that's not productive.
How do others feel? I expect that there are plenty of readers that have mixed feelings as I do and many that will respond that these women-only events are great because they would not be envious of a golf-outing. Please comment.