A new book and film are set to reveal real-life examples of the alleged sexism that exists in the banking and trading industry.
The Book is called Opening Belle. It’s a slightly fictionalised account of Maureen Sherry’s experience working at investment bank Bear Stearns. She worked at Bear Stearns for 11 years in the 90s and 00s as a managing director.
The Daily Mail reported that the book is due to be made into a film, with Reese Witherspoon playing the lead who suffers from sexism while working as a Wall St trader.
Many of the allegations made by Maureen Sherry are shocking. They include being pranked with a pizza topped with condoms on her first day of work and being mooed at by colleagues when she was lactating.
Opening Belle details other sexist behaviour from male traders on Wall St. The book depicts men openly debating hiring women based on their looks, asking female candidates if they are married or plan to wed at interview stage and referring to the area where the women in the office sit as ‘Estrogen Row’.
This sort of behaviour in the workplace is unlawful sex discrimination both in the US and the UK. Employers should not be asking a job candidate about their marital status, children or sexual preference at an interview and every workplace should be free from discriminatory, derogatory and sexist remarks.
Maureen put up with sexist and discriminatory behaviour in her workplace for years but you don’t have to. The Equality Act provides protection in the workplace against unlawful direct and indirect sex discrimination, harassment or pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
There are many options available to you if you experience sexual discrimination at work. You can raise a grievance using your employer’s grievance procedure if raising matters informally fails to work. If raising a grievance does not resolve things then you can bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal for sex discrimination. You may also want to get expert legal advice from a work discrimination solicitor.
The workplace discrimination solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers can help advise you. Contact our UK call centre anytime 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9060 or alternatively contact us online.