Goldman Sachs Negotiates Settlement in High-Profile Female Discrimination Lawsuit, WSJ Reports

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a leading Wall Street bank, reportedly engages in negotiations to settle a class-action lawsuit brought forth by female employees who claimed the company promoted their male colleagues more and paid women less. As the potential settlement amount and trial date approaches, this high-profile case highlights the ongoing issue of gender discrimination within the financial sector.


Financial giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has been involved in settlement discussions to resolve a class-action lawsuit filed by female employees who contend that the company favored their male counterparts when it came to promotions and pay. According to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, the discussed settlement amount is approximately $200 million, though this figure may change as the June trial date in the Southern District of New York court approaches. The plaintiffs in this case comprise roughly 1,000 current and former Goldman Sachs employees. With a reported headcount of 45,500 people as of March 31st, this case points to deeper challenges within the organization and industry as a whole.

Background on the Lawsuit

In 2010, three female former Goldman Sachs employees filed the lawsuit against the firm, alleging systematic gender discrimination within the company. The claims encompassed discrimination in work assignments, promotion opportunities, and remuneration. According to the plaintiffs, the institutional bias led to ongoing disparities between male and female employees, leading to a male-dominated workforce that fostered an unfair and hostile work environment for women.

In 2018, a New York federal judge granted class-action status to the lawsuit, opening the door for additional plaintiffs to join. With roughly 1,000 current and former employees now involved, this case has become an industry-defining lawsuit with potentially far-reaching implications for the financial sector.

Potential Impacts on the Financial Industry

The implications of this case extend beyond Goldman Sachs, as it brings attention to the wider issue of gender discrimination in the financial industry. Historically, the financial sector has struggled with a lack of gender diversity, particularly in senior positions, leading to ongoing disparities in representation, pay, and opportunities for advancement.

The Goldman Sachs lawsuit serves to increase awareness, spark conversations, and potentially stimulate policy changes across the industry aimed at addressing these disparities. It also highlights the need for companies to proactively address gender discrimination, implement changes to workplace culture, and perform internal audits to ensure fair and equitable practices.

Past Settlements in the Financial Sector

Goldman Sachs is not the first financial institution to face a gender discrimination lawsuit. Over recent years, several other banks have faced similar issues and negotiated settlements.

Some examples include:

  • In 2013, Bank of America settled a gender discrimination lawsuit for $39 million, accused of paying female brokers less and denying promotions.
  • Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $54 million in settling a suit in 2007 that alleged the bank paid female employees less and limited their advancement opportunities.
  • Citigroup settled a $33 million gender discrimination lawsuit in 2008, accused of gender-biased pay practices and promotion decisions.

These prior settlements at other financial institutions serve as a reminder that this issue is not unique to Goldman Sachs and requires industry-wide action.


As Goldman Sachs negotiates the settlement in the ongoing female discrimination lawsuit, the case underscores the need for greater awareness and action towards addressing gender discrimination in the financial sector. The potential $200 million settlement would be among the largest in recent history and may serve as a catalyst for change across the industry.

Alongside implementing fair and equitable policies, financial firms must also work together to tackle the root causes of gender discrimination, focusing on creating an inclusive and supportive workplace culture for all employees. The outcome of the Goldman Sachs case may lead to a turning point in the ongoing fight for gender equality within the financial sector.


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