Former Goldman Sachs vice president Charlotte Hanna has filed a lawsuit against the financial giant, claiming she suffered discrimination and then termination for bearing children. Following the birth of her first child in 2005, Hanna returned to work part-time. But after taking a maternity leave in 2009, she was told her position had been eliminated. "It is clear that Goldman Sachs views working mothers as second-class citizens," says the complaint, "who should be at home with their children." Does Goldman Sachs treat mothers unfairly?
Hanna should have known better: "Everyone knows that when you pledge your allegiance to Goldman Sachs, they own you," says Yael Bizouati in Mediaelites. After "the 36-interview process," employees "simply belong to them — body and soul." So the fact that they "got a bit annoyed when one of their own got pregnant" is "not surprising." What is surprising, however, is that Hanna didn't already know all this.
"Goldman Sachs is a mommy hater"
Discrimination is a problem — for women and men: "Ms. Hanna's case is at the heart of gender bias on the Street," says Edmundo Braverman in Wall Street Oasis. Firms choose men over women because "they are willing to choose work over family." Unfortunately, this is the same standard that creates "so many thrice-married (like me) senior guys whose children treat them like contemptible ATM machines."
"No day care at Goldman?"
The bottom line: "If your job isn't your top priority," says KJ Dell'Antonia in Slate's Double X blog, "then you're probably not your employer's top priority, either." So, "if your firm offers you a mommy track and you take it," then sue them because your "luxury niche...becomes unaffordable," it's "only going to make employers less likely to create a haven for willing parents the next time around."
"If it's not a money maker, it's probably the mommy trap"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The best books we read in 2014
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to wrap a present with mathematical precision (and waste less paper)
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
Subscribe to the Week