A recruitment advertisement placed by a Cambridge firm highlighting the fact that most of its staff are female has been queried by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

The advert, placed in the Cambridge Evening News by two-partner firm Milsom & Lentin, states: “Tired of working for the big boys? Do you want to be busy and well paid in a small, mainly female firm…?”

The EOC wrote to the practice claiming that the advert appeared to breach the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act.

But partner Robert Milsom wrote back to the EOC stating that its intention was merely to show the composition of the firm and not to discriminate. In the letter, he said the firm had “carefully noted the provisions of the act for future reference”.

The Lawyer was alerted to the story last week by a bogus press release, which appeared to have been issued by the EOC. It claimed that Milsom & Lentin had “escaped prosecution, but has responded to the EOC by agreeing to note the provisions of the act in future”.

It listed a number for the EOC's Manchester office and the EOC file number. The EOC has denied issuing the release, but said that it wrote to the firm following a complaint about the advert. It took no further action on receiving Milsom's letter.