- Former Bloomberg reporter Nafeesa Syeed has sued the company for discrimination (Syeed, et al. v. Bloomberg, L.P., et al., No. 156215 (Supreme Court of the State of New York County of New York, Aug. 11, 2020)), claiming that she resigned from Bloomberg News in 2018 due to the organization's "top-down systemic sex and racially biased discriminatory practices for promotion and compensation against minority women," according to documents shared with HR Dive.
- The plaintiff first started working out of the company's Dubai, United Arab Emirates, bureau as a politics and economy correspondent for the Persian Gulf. She eventually transferred to Washington, D.C., and later applied for foreign policy correspondent positions, but Bloomberg leadership passed over her in favor of male colleagues, some of whom were "far less qualified," the suit said. When she brought this up to a male editor, she was told the "position was not designated a 'diversity slot' and, therefore, she would not be considered," according to the complaint.
- Syeed also listed the members of Bloomberg's "all white male editorial management committee" as defendants. "Through gaslighting, Bloomberg LP expected its female minority employees to tolerate the unequal status quo and know and stay in their place — firmly beneath their male colleagues," the lawsuit said.
While social movements have highlighted the need for significant action against gender inequality, they have not wiped out the problem. Bias remains a barrier to workplace equity.
This is particularly true when it comes to advancement. A McKinsey study on women in the workplace found that for every 100 men promoted into their first managerial positions, only 72 women get the same opportunity. More broadly, 64% of respondents in a 2019 Deloitte survey of U.S. workers said they have experienced workplace bias and 34% of those said they didn't speak up about it.
Issues of race and sex discrimination continue to plague many industries, especially those with highly sought-after jobs such as media & entertainment, management consulting, tech or finance. Syeed's experiences as a South Asian-American woman bring into focus the challenges non-white women can face in these environments.
Employers must combat workplace discrimination by training against it, enforcing diversity goals at the manager level and responding seriously to allegations or complaints of employees, sources previously told HR Dive.