This week three women sued Goldman Sachs, claiming that the bank systematically discriminates against women. The women, who are seeking class-action status, say that they were denied training and opportunities for advancement, and that they earned less money than men at the same level. There are specific individual claims as well.
From the Journal:
Plaintiff H. Christina Chen-Oster, who worked in Goldman’s bonds department, claimed she was groped by a male colleague after an evening outing in 1997 at a New York city topless bar — an event allegedly held to commemorate Goldman employees who had been promoted to managing director. After reporting this incident, Chen-Oster claimed she was increasingly marginalized at the bank.
Shanna Orlich, a former associate in the capital structure trading group who has a combined JD/MBA from Columbia, claimed she was assigned clerical work, and was asked by a senior analyst to set up his Blackberry and to answer calls from his wife. She also claimed that she was denied opportunities to join golf outings, even though she was an experienced golfer who had played on her varsity team in high school.
Goldman this afternoon released a statement regarding the suit. "People are critical to our business, and we make extraordinary efforts to recruit, develop and retain outstanding women professionals." Let's think about that first clause: "People" are critical to Goldman's business. It sounds very Soylent Green when you say it that way. And you know you've got a PR situation when you have to remind people that humans are an important part of your business.