Discrimination based on a person’s sex is illegal. This is not a new law. This is a law that was developed on the national level back in 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically states that employers cannot discriminate against an applicant or employee based on a number of factors, including sex.
Unfortunately, cases of discrimination are common even though this law has been in place for over fifty years. Women still struggle against harassment and discrimination within the workplace.
A recent case highlights these struggles within the financial industry.
Does sexual discrimination happen in the financial industry?
This case provides one example of sexual discrimination in this industry. It involves a woman that was positioned to climb the ladder within a top mutual fund company in the country. While in her thirties she had received positive reviews from superiors, was listed as “outstanding” and was the only woman to earn a position on the acquisition team within the firm. She states that another manager told her she failed to move forward in her position because she was not going out for beer and watching football. She was encouraged to refrain from answering questions and take on a more “female role.” Later, she was encouraged to leave the company.
This is just one example. As noted in a recent piece by Bloomberg, it is impossible to know how many additional cases of discrimination like this are present. These allegations are often dealt with behind closed doors. The victim may be encouraged to agree to a settlement. Part of the agreement: a requirement to refrain from disclosing the issue.
Still other victims may have chosen not to report similar incidents.
What happened in this case?
The woman in this incident agreed to a settlement. She agreed to a payment of $500,000 along with a promise to provide good references while she searched for employment elsewhere.
The story provides an example of the culture present in male-dominated fields like finance. A failure to promote a candidate based simply on her sex is illegal. Victims have options. If you believe you are the victim of this form of discrimination, contact an attorney.