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Gender Discrimination on Wall Street

Posted on in Employment

Wall Street has never been the most welcoming of places for female employees. The job opportunities for women are tight here, and promotional chances are even rarer. Another fact that emerges after a closer analysis of this industry is the widespread sexual harassment in Wall Street companies.

In 2010, two former employees of Goldman Sachs filed a lawsuit, asking the court to allow them to bring a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. According to the lawsuit, the environment at Goldman Sachs is positively hostile towards women. Not only does the company fail to promote women, but there is also a huge gender pay gap of as much as 21%.

Of equal concern are the allegations of sexual harassment that the women claimed were widespread in the company. According to the women's complaint, in one instance, one of their colleagues had a party to celebrate his promotion at a strip club. At the end of the event, one of the plaintiffs was assaulted.

In fact, Wall Street executives seem to love to celebrate and party at the Penthouse Club, and other similar joints. Almost every Wall Street firm has been sued for gender discrimination and/or sexual harassment at some point in time. That is a damning indictment against an industry and speaks about a culture that promotes discrimination and harassment against women. Female executives, who have filed lawsuits against these firms, have claimed that there's definitely a “boys club” kind of atmosphere on Wall Street that isolates women and devalues their work contributions.

The industry's misogynistic reputation is so notorious among women that many women are turning down offers to work with Wall Street firms, choosing instead to take their talents elsewhere.

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