Goldman Sachs Settles Gender Discrimination Suit

Goldman Sachs Settles Gender Discrimination Suit
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The Facts

  • Goldman Sachs announced Monday it has agreed to pay $215M to settle a class action lawsuit alleging widespread bias against women in pay and promotions, pending approval by a New York judge.

  • The class action lawsuit — which began in 2010 and represents nearly 3K current and former associates and vice presidents — was scheduled to go to trial next month in federal court.

The Spin

Narrative A

This settlement is a sign that the old boys’ club culture in finance is over, and there is a path for victims of gender discrimination to have their grievances heard. Hopefully, going forward there will be better working conditions for women at Goldman Sachs and all Wall Street firms.

Narrative B

Although this settlement is encouraging, it reinforces Wall Street's culture of secrecy, as companies would rather privately arbitrate or settle their cases than have the lurid details of their misdoings brought before a court for the world to see. We might not witness real change until we’ve seen a landmark trial.

Narrative C

While any type of discrimination should be stamped out, this settlement isn't an admission of guilt. And, despite claims to the contrary, forcing women into executive positions solely to fill a quota actually does more harm than good. Women, like men, should be hired for their experiences and accomplishments rather than their gender.

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