Twenty-five years ago this month, three women at a Long Island branch of financial industry giant Smith Barney filed an explosive class-action sexual harassment lawsuit. Their complaint described a branch office where it was acceptable for men to refer to their female colleagues as “b*tches” and “c*nts”, where the boss bellowed to the troops at an office Christmas party that the branch was “the biggest whorehouse in Garden City” and where male brokers would assemble in a basement party room dubbed “the Boom Boom Room” to drink, party and engage in vulgar talk.
That suit wound up including 22,000 women by the time it settled, and women at other brokerage firms started speaking up, too, adding up to a public relations nightmare for the brokerage industry.
A quarter-century later, there is change, but women are still struggling. I wrote about it in an opinion piece today for CNN. You can read it here.