Wells Fargo bond saleswoman claims pay bias in ‘boys membership’ crew

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Wells Fargo Ahead Of Earnings Figures
A Wells Fargo financial institution department in New York, US, on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. Wells Fargo & Co. is scheduled to launch earnings figures on January 12. Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) –A Wells Fargo bond saleswoman sued the financial institution for intercourse discrimination, claiming she was denied the identical promotions and pay as males and compelled to endure a “boys’ membership” surroundings.

Michal Leavitt, a onetime Bear Stearns managing director, filed a lawsuit Friday in Chicago. She says she was pressured to affix Wells Fargo’s monetary establishments group as a vice chairman, was paid as much as 50% lower than her male colleagues and was by no means assigned massive accounts by a “disproportionately male administration.”

“The monetary establishments group is a self-acknowledged ‘boys’ membership,’ the place ‘locker room discuss’ on the gross sales ground is de rigeur,” Leavitt stated in her criticism.

Wells Fargo did not have a direct touch upon the go well with.

Massive banks have lengthy confronted allegations of bias towards girls, with a number of high-profile circumstances coming lately. Final November, Citigroup managing director Ardith Lindsey sued the financial institution for allegedly tolerating years of sexual harassment towards her. Final yr, Goldman Sachs paid $215 million to settle a long-running class motion go well with by girls alleging compensation and promotion bias.

In response to Leavitt’s go well with, when she joined Wells Fargo in 2013, she anticipated to be given a director-level place however was informed financial institution coverage barred hiring commissioned salespeople at ranges above vice chairman. Leavitt claims a number of males have been subsequently employed into the group as administrators.

Second Revenue

She herself wasn’t promoted to director at Wells Fargo till 2022, behind a lot of male colleagues, Leavitt claims. A significant factor in her lack of promotion was the financial institution’s refusal to assign her massive accounts, in response to the go well with. With out such accounts, she labored exhausting to develop a “ebook of enterprise from nothing.”

She is searching for an undisclosed quantity in compensatory damages in addition to modifications to Wells Fargo’s account project insurance policies.

Leavitt claims that when she complained about not being assigned massive accounts, she was informed that there was a notion that her husband “does properly” and hers was only a second earnings. When she first interviewed with the financial institution, she was requested how having a household would have an effect on her means to carry out, in response to the go well with.

There’s nonetheless “a paucity of ladies in senior management roles at most funding banking establishments,” John Singer, a lawyer for Leavitt, stated in a press release. “Antiquated and fallacious stereotypes about girls merchants and salespeople are nonetheless harbored and fostered by a big swath of males in coveted positions of energy on Wall Avenue.”

In response to the go well with, Leavitt unfairly acquired three damaging rankings in her 2023 and 2024 efficiency evaluations, regardless of growing her manufacturing by 11% in 2022. When she raised concern she was experiencing intercourse discrimination, a supervisor “raised his voice” and have become irate, she claims.

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