Does it help to have impressive physical assets if you want to work in investment banking? We’ve written on various occasions about the benefits of being a beautiful woman if you work in sales and JPMorgan’s foray into recruiting the Swiss-Russian model Xenia Tchoumitcheva for a sales position seemed to confirm that above-average attractiveness can be advantageous if you’re liaising with (mostly male) clients.
Then, however, came the flipside. An anonymous 27-year-old female banker wrote to the Financial Times and said her looks were holding her back. Male colleagues weren’t taking her seriously and dribbled over her at networking events; female colleagues mistrusted her. Worse, Debrahlee Lorenzana, an ex-Citigroup banker complained in 2010 that she was axed by the bank for being too attractive and pneumatic. Lorenzana eventually accepted an out of court settlement from Citi in 2011.
Today, however, it seems that Lorenzana may be a serial litigant in the habit of complaining about things. The New York Daily News reports that she’s filed a lawsuit against a company that took a sample of her blood and somehow inflicted “serious and severe permanent injuries” in the process. Her lawyer says she has nerve damage, but the Daily News remains skeptical – Lorenzana is not only too beautiful, but too sensitive, it suggests.
Separately, the Financial Times reported today that a third of women in the fund management industry have suffered sexual harassment. It’s seemingly not unheard of for clients to call female fund managers, irrespective of their appearance, and enquire as to whether they’re wearing underwear.