There is little doubt that finance has had just as many cases of sexual predation as other industries, and perhaps more. Finance is a male-dominated industry and the few women who manage to enter it, and to climb its ranks, often become the targets of the men who work there.
.. Renée-Eva Fassbender Amochaev, a broker who successfully sued Smith Barney for gender discrimination in a subsequent case when it was part of Citigroup, told me that the way Wall Street firms resolve sexual harassment cases continues to protect perpetrators and firms. Large settlements are paid, but the men who either committed the bad behavior or who effectively condoned it, often remain. “No one gets fired,” she said. “Everyone on the inside knows the system is rigged.” And, because the settlements are confidential, the incidents are kept quiet.
.. members of her department went to Scores, a topless dance club in Manhattan, to celebrate a colleague’s promotion.
.. Managers placed all the women’s desks together, and that part of the floor was known as the “pink ghetto.” The rest of the office was decidedly more masculine. “It was a locker room,” she said. “It was horrible, but I just sucked it up for a year.”
.. Carnoy said she thought about suing Bear Stearns because what went on there was so “despicable,” but then she thought better of it. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I can sue them but I want to be in this industry for the next thirty years’,”
.. An executive’s annual bonus can be in the millions of dollars and if a woman experienced egregious harassment or criminal sexual assault on Wall Street, the settlement would also be in the millions.
.. Pao told me that she thought part of the reason might be because that while women had won a few legal victories—and had received cash settlements—their careers had stalled afterward.
.. the broader #MeToo moment is strengthening an “underground” movement, or whisper network, where women who work in finance help each other. “What Wall Street still underestimates is that the ‘underground’ is still alive and well and growing stronger with this new movement,” she said. “These women find me, contact me, call me—for twelve solid years now. We plot, we organize in secret and effect change through an underground, which is how you, and countless women, have found me. It’s all we have right now.