Things get even more competitive between women in imbalanced situations; very few form female friendships or effective mentorships at work. Interestingly, most executive women on Wall Street attribute their success to a male mentor, someone they sought out on their own.
Seven years post-MBA, professional women on Wall Street earn $0.68 to a man’s $1, and this disparity exists fairly consistently across industries. Recent widely publicized conversations about Hollywood roles for women remind us there is still an impressive quadrant of women who maintain it is unladylike to speak about money.
Before employees begin work, banks have them sign a U-4 contract agreeing that any employment disputes will be settled by in-house arbitration. Thus, when sexual harassment complaints are filed, they usually settle privately with a hefty check and an oath of silence for the plaintiff.
A few settlements of note:
2007: Citigroup settled with over 900 women for gender discrimination and paid out $33mm. Currently only 2 of 20 top executives are women.
2007: Morgan Stanley settled for $54mm for unfair pay to 340 women. They set up a pool of $46mm to help attract and promote women. It’s been seven years and the top brass at Morgan Stanley is 0% female.
2013: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch settled for gender bias with a payout of $39mm. This claim was on behalf of 4,800 female employees. Currently, 4 of 15 executive managers are women.
2015: After accusations of not promoting women, Goldman Sachs settled for an undisclosed sum rather than go to court. It’s undeniable that number of women in management positions plummets as the level of management rises. There is currently one woman in the executive suite.
Maureen Sherry, formerly the youngest managing director at a leading investment bank, spent twelve years climbing ladders on Wall Street before leaving to pursue writing. Her first adult novel “OPENING BELLE” situates readers just before the 2008 crash, on the trading floor where the few women who have made it up the ranks endure obscene nicknames, sexual pranks, and daily reminders that theirs is a world still run by men.
More Self-Coaching Guides for Career Women:
Women, Know Thyself: The most important knowledge is self-knowledge. (ebook and paperback editions)
Women and Time (ebook and paperback editions)
When Doing It All Won't Do: A self-coaching guide for career women. (ebook edition $0.99, Workbook Edition in paperback $13.41)