Cases of alleged harassment of women at big financial institutions in the City of London continue coming to light. In the latest, a Commerzbank executive claims that she was passed over for promotion because she was pregnant and then had to listen to humiliating and offensive comments after she returned from maternity leave.
A senior compliance executive who formerly worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland, Jagruti Rajput alleges that after returning from maternity leave in 2016 she “pretty much immediately perceived a diminution in my status/position,” according to Financial News.
“I was often greeted with comments [from colleagues] such as ‘shouldn’t you be with your baby?’ or does ‘your baby even know you are her mother?’” she said.
A male colleague responded to a comment she made in front of her team about feeling ill “along the lines of ‘what have you been up to? Maybe a sibling for [your daughter]?'” leaving her “lost for words” and “humiliated,” Rajput alleged.
Rajput also claimed that an external male candidate was promoted to lead the department she worked in while she was pregnant and she was acting as the team’s deputy.
She said she was told by a senior member of Commerzbank staff that the reason for the external hire was that the bank needed “someone who could hit the ground running,” which Rajput said “was a clear reference to my maternity leave.”
Commerzbank denied the allegations: “We believe this case is without merit. We plan to defend these claims vigorously. Commerzbank does not tolerate workplace discrimination of any sort.”
The bank told the court that Rajput was not appointed to the managerial role because she didn’t have enough experience and was too detail-focused, spending 11 months on a project that was expected to take six weeks.
Separately, Deutsche Bank is expanding its social media presence “to get closer to situations and people, provide a look behind the scenes and communicate authentically – with #nofilter.”
In a play to appear cool to Millennials, the German bank started an Instagram channel to “visually convey a different side” to the company's activities, according to Finextra. Instagram already has 700m users, around half of whom are active on the Facebook-owned image-sharing app on a daily basis, but banks have not been active on it.
Deutsche is using the social network to show staff from around the world doing a wide variety of jobs, “showing the differences and similarities between the everyday routines of employees at a major global corporate.” It features an employee who also works as a soccer referee, another who loves mountain climbing, a software developer who wears headphones while biking to work and in the office, as well as an animated thumb elevating the twin towers of its Frankfurt HQ.
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Young women working in finance say they are still being discriminated against, demeaned and objectified because of their gender, even though they experience fewer instances of overt sexual harassment than their predecessors. (FT)
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The notorious ‘Pharma Bro’ hedge fund manager will be sentenced in a Brooklyn courtroom today. (Bloomberg)
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