Credit: Katherine Lam
My first job out of college in the late 1980s was at Salomon Brothers, a trading house of cigar-smoking, expletive-spewing strivers. One day, I leaned over a colleague’s desk to work on a spreadsheet, and heard loud laughter from behind me; one of the guys was pretending to perform a sex act on me. Almost every day, I found a Xerox copy of male genitalia on my desk.
I was not alone in being treated this way: During that era another brokerage house, Smith Barney, paid out $150 million in a bias and harassment case — known as the “boom-boom room” suit, named after a basement party room in one of its branches. Wall Street was a hypermasculine culture, where the all-nighter was a badge of honor and the ever-bigger deal was proof of one’s status, and women were not safe, either emotionally or physically.Read Complete Article