Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $215 million to settle a years-long gender discrimination lawsuit filed by thousands of women who once worked for the bank.
The class-action suit, which was initially filed in 2010 and set to go to trial next month, accused the Wall Street bank of gender bias in pay, promotions, and performance evaluations. The plaintiffs claim there were systemic policies in place to elevate men in the company and dismiss female colleagues.
The settlement will cover about 2,800 former female associates and vice presidents who were employed in the investment banking, investment management and securities divisions of Goldman Sachs.
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"My goal in this case has always been to support strong women on Wall Street," Allison Gamba, a former stock trader and plaintiff in the lawsuit, said in a statement. "I am proud that the result we achieved here will advance gender equity."
The lawsuit alleged that Goldman Sachs created a hostile work environment in which women were discriminated against in how much they were paid, who did and didn't receive promotions, and how the bank reviewed female workers' performance. The women also claimed they were denied opportunities in the company based solely on their gender.
Aside from the settlement, Goldman Sachs has agreed to hire an independent expert for three years to analyze internal processes and offer advice on how the company can improve gender equity moving forward.
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