Ardith Lindsey’s lawsuit accusing Citigroup Inc. of tolerating years of sexual harassment and assault in opposition to her struck a chord throughout Wall Road for a lot of causes, not least of which was her title: managing director.
It’s usually essentially the most senior rank in finance other than these in govt administration positions, one which comes with enhanced compensation and, presumably, energy. Ladies at that stage are sometimes touted by banks as examples of how gender is not any bar to development.
However Lindsey, 40, says seniority didn’t shield her, nor did the elevation of one other lady, Jane Fraser, to be Citigroup’s chief govt officer.
Lindsey joined Citigroup in October 2007 after graduating from the College of Virginia.
Based on her go well with, she spent her whole profession within the financial institution’s equities division, beginning as essentially the most junior member on the digital gross sales buying and selling desk. She turned head of that desk in 2021, when she was promoted to managing director.
“I used to be undoubtedly somebody that very a lot had a highlight on me as being somebody who was going to proceed to develop and tackle extra accountability inside the agency,” she stated in a latest interview. That’s modified since she’s come ahead, Lindsey stated.
“Quite a few senior folks within the trade have advised me my profession in finance is completed,” she stated. Lindsey stated she’s at the moment on go away from financial institution.
When requested for remark, Citigroup referred to an earlier assertion on the matter by which it stated, “Our values and expectations are clear — nobody ought to ever be discriminated in opposition to or harassed within the office.”
The financial institution stated on the time Lindsey’s go well with was filed that it will defend itself in opposition to her claims.
Lindsey joins different senior Wall Road ladies who’ve stated they skilled office mistreatment regardless of their rank.
Final yr, Bloomberg reported that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had paid out effectively over $12 million to a feminine accomplice, a place above managing director at that financial institution, who’d complained internally that ladies made lower than males and had been topic to vulgar and dismissive feedback by senior executives.
Jamie Fiore Higgins, a former Goldman managing director, made related accusations in a 2022 e book, “Bully Market.”
‘It Will get Worse’
The allegations problem the banks’ efforts to current an image of better gender equality, usually by pointing to rising numbers of feminine managing administrators. Earlier this month, Citigroup introduced it had promoted 304 folks to that place, 30% of whom had been ladies.
Final month, Goldman stated ladies accounted for 31% of its newest managing director class.
“You’re on the high of the meals chain, and also you’re nonetheless being objectified by people who find themselves on the buying and selling flooring,” stated Marjorie Mesidor, a accomplice at legislation agency Wigdor LLP who makes a speciality of sexual harassment fits however isn’t concerned in Lindsey’s case.
Higgins, the previous Goldman managing director, stated that, in her expertise, banks really count on higher-ranked ladies to place up with much more dangerous conduct by their male colleagues.
“It will get worse as you get extra senior,” she stated, noting that the bigger compensation packages for managing administrators give the banks extra leverage. They’ll successfully ask, “The place are you going to go that’s going to pay you this a lot?”
Goldman stated final yr that it strongly disagreed with Higgins’ characterization of its tradition however declined to reply to her particular allegations, which included modified names, composites, compressed timelines and recreated dialogue.
Relating to its settlement with the accomplice, Goldman final yr stated it disputed Bloomberg’s story however declined to offer specifics. A decide who reviewed the accomplice’s criticism in a separate case stated it described “repugnant ‘bros’ membership’ conduct and Goldman’s tolerance of it.”
Most senior Wall Road ladies aren’t fairly on the high of the meals chain. Except Fraser, the CEOs of the most important US banks are all males, and feminine managing administrators nonetheless usually report back to much more senior male executives.
Fraser has hailed Citigroup’s success in assembly targets for diversifying its govt ranks. Final yr, she introduced that the financial institution was aiming to have ladies account for 43.5% of individuals in positions starting from assistant vice chairman to managing director by 2025, up from 40.6% in 2021.