Goldman Sachs sued for sex discrimination
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is being sued by three former female employees who claimed they were discriminated against in both pay and promotion opportunities, according to news reports Wednesday. The women said the discrimination is systemic and "based upon companywide policies and practices, and… the result of unchecked gender bias that pervades Goldman Sachs’s corporate culture," according to Bloomberg News. A Goldman Sachs representative told the Wall Street Journal that the company believes the suit is "without merit."
Goldman has lots of problems these days. It got past a humiliating grilling before Congress and in July settled a Securities and Exchange Commission suit for $550 million. Now it faces this legal problem.
It’s hardly a new one for Wall Street, which is why it’s surprising. The allegations in the Goldman suit, while low on old-style raunch, resonate with anyone who read about the claims in the 1990s against Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch & Co. and other firms.
It’s true that some of these allegations are dated, and possible that they are exaggerated or that Goldman has cleaned up its act. But the numbers show that the higher the management level at Goldman, the smaller the percentage of women.
If the women get class status and win a big settlement or jury award, then some other judge can proclaim it a new day on Wall Street.
Maybe it will be. Maybe it won’t. There’s such a thing as too much optimism.