Women in Finance, scratch that–the Workplace

From Reuters:

“A lawsuit in Manhattan federal court said it was filed on behalf of employees Christina Chen-Oster (formerly a VP), Lisa Parisi (a managing director) and Shanna Orlich and seeks class-action status.”

Below is a list of some of the incidents of harassment that happened to the above-mentioned courageous women who worked at Goldman Sachs. These women are now actually doing something about their unfair treatment. Read the exact text here from the recent lawsuit filed.

  1. Goldman Sachs female employee was groped/molested
  2. Goldman Sachs female employee was racially harassed
  3. Goldman Sachs female employee put with all female administrative assistants though she should have been sitting on the trading floor
  4. Goldman Sachs female employee was given lower pay for same work and accomplishments as male counterpart
  5. Goldman Sachs female employee was denied a role that male with same qualifications was given
  6. Goldman Sachs female employee was not invited to all-male outings
  7. Goldman Sachs scheduled celebratory outing for a male getting promoted at a topless bar
  8. Goldman Sachs female employee was given menial assignments like setting up senior member’s blackberry when male counterparts were never asked to do this

The lists goes on, I’m sure and I have to say, maybe obviously, I am infuriated by the allegations. I’m infuriated for those women who suffered the mistreatment in the work place, I am infuriated for women who are still suffering this disrespect and I’m infuriated for myself.  I have seen this kind of thing go on first hand and I’ve been treated differently, oftentimes in very discreet ways, in the workplace.

Goldman is obviously trying to refute these statements. But I guarantee you, everything these women allege is 100% accurate.

Many industries, finance specifically, are still a world of and for men where women have few places to go. Bosses are oftentimes men who may not understand us, and frankly, we are scared our advancing careers (however slowly they may be advancing in comparison to our male counterparts) will be halted if we “tattle.” I worked in finance for 3 years and let me tell you, I was asked to answer phones when that duty was far from in my job description. The other male associates were never asked to do this unless literally nobody else was in the office. I have been told to apply “earmuffs” time and time again as one of the bosses drops the “F-bomb” because apparently that is too crude for my lady ears. I have been asked to go deliver work documents for a more senior male member of the team when I was the Manager of Marketing and had no business leaving the office doing people menial favors. I have seen a Summer Associate who had one year of a Columbia University’s MBA under her belt, asked to take a boss’s housekeeper’s son to soccer practice on her way home (WTF?!). I have been expected to take over assistant duties when the actual administrative assistant is absent, presumably because I’m female, as the males were never asked to do this. The list goes on. I have seen a lot of shit personally and nothing nearly as offensive as these Goldman Sachs females endured.

And I’m pissed.

I’m pissed because this goes on every day and there is little women can do to stop it, short of a lawsuit. I’m pissed because there are men reading about this particular Goldman Sachs suit and cracking chauvinistic jokes. And meaning them. They’re blaming the women for dressing too promiscuously, belittling their efforts as employees or something else inaccurate like that. There will probably be men who read this post and categorize me as a radical feminist simply bitching because I’m on my period or something. Men make jokes like this all the time, both in the work place and at home and these “jokes” are toxic and offensive. I’ve been around these types of finance dicks long enough to know that most of the time they actually believe women are inferior.

As a caveat, I understand it may seem that I am making sweeping assumptions here and bucketing all men in finance as chauvinistic pricks. I know this is not the case. I’ve met and worked with men that are not this way, at least not outwardly. However, these environments are such that male superiority complexes are fed and encouraged in a disgusting fashion. Big bank culture and oftentimes the big MBA programs like Harvard and Yale, engrain this mentality in their male employees and students who bring it wherever they go.

Overall, I am saddened by the fact that women are still fighting for equal opportunity in the work place. Masking male-superiority complexes by inviting women into the boys’ clubs to internally mistreat them and cover it up, is eons away from actually believing women are amazing, talented and intelligent bankers (or otherwise) who do their jobs as well as men–maybe even better.

I’ll leave it at that, though I could write pages and pages of angry words about this situation and those like it. To those women who are filing this suit: Thank you. To the people who think they’re lying or overreacting or who are generally inclined to disbelieve sexual harassment claims by women: Screw you. You suck. You’re wrong. Get over yourself. Amen.

One response to “Women in Finance, scratch that–the Workplace

  1. Linda Schumacher Brown

    I want to be linked in to this web site. The articles are so well written and up to date

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