A judge has officially allowed an eight-year-old lawsuit claiming that Goldman Sachs discriminated against over 2,300 women on the basis of gender to proceed. United States District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that these thousands of women could pursue claims alleging discrimination in terms of pay, promotions and performance reviews against Goldman Sachs as a class action lawsuit.
The ruling covers a range of Goldman Sachs employees: female associates and vice presidents who have worked for the firm’s investment banking, investment management and securities divisions since September 2004, as well as its New York City employees since July 2002.
Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein addressing the inaugural Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/U.S. Department of State Entrepreneurship Program in 2015. Photo by the State Department.
The lawsuit claims that Goldman’s female vice presidents and associates were, on average, paid a respective 21% and 8% less than their male counterparts. It also provides proof that Goldman was aware of its biased practices, such as giving women weaker performance reviews to impede their career growth and salary, yet did nothing to remedy them. Two of the women who originally raised concerns of gender discrimination in 2010 cited the firm’s boys’ club culture that included client outings to strip clubs. Though this misogynist mindset is still rampant on much of Wall Street, the lawsuit’s renewed status is a small step forward for women in the industry.