A female barrister has told her male colleagues to stop making “jokes about breasts and skirts” in a series of scathing tweets about sexism in the courtroom.
Joanna Hardy said men in the legal profession should not behave like they are “on a stag do” and criticised them for communicating “solely by innuendo”.
In her outspoken social media posts, she also encouraged women lawyers to “be kind to each other” and not “tolerate” it when other women are given a “rough time”.
Ms Hardy’s intervention comes in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements which have seen countless women share their stories of sexual harassment.
Ms Hardy, who is based at Red Lion Chambers and is included in the Legal 500 list of leading junior criminal barristers, was one of three leading barristers chosen to represent the profession last year at a hearing of the Commons Justice Select Committee on the disclosure of evidence in criminal trials.
In one tweet, she wrote: “If you’re a male in a male-heavy case, don’t ask the female counsel to fetch the coffee/pour your water. Try to remember their names. Don’t make repetitive jokes about breasts or skirts. Don’t communicate solely in innuendo.”
She is not the first female barrister to draw attention to sexism in the legal system. In 2015, human rights lawyer Charlotte Proudman publicly humiliated a male colleague after he sent her a LinkedIn message which said her profile picture was “stunning”.