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Goldman Sachs will pay $215 million to settle gender bias lawsuit

The investment bank also agrees to hire an independent expert to analyze its performance review and promotion processes, and conduct a pay-equity study

A Goldman Sachs logo on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor in 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
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Investment bank Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $215 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit that’s been ongoing for more than a decade, the company and plaintiffs announced late Monday.

Former employees alleged in a complaint first filed in 2010 that Goldman “distributed the benefits of its enormous success unequally — systematically favoring male professionals at the expense of their female counterparts.”

The class-action lawsuit, which covers roughly 2,800 current and former Goldman employees, was set to go to trial in New York on June 7.

“My goal in this case has always been to support strong women on Wall Street,” Allison Gamba, a former Goldman stock trader and one of the named plaintiffs of the lawsuit, said in a statement. “I am proud that the result we achieved here will advance gender equity.”

Jacqueline Arthur, Goldman’s global head of human capital management, said in a statement that the company was “proud of its long record of promoting and advancing women.”

Goldman reported $47.4 billion in revenue in 2022.

After years of progress to shrink the gender pay gap across the U.S. economy, that movement appears to have stalled, data shows. Women in the United States earn 82 cents for every dollar made by a male counterpart, a Pew Research Center study found in March.

Much of that disparity, research found, is related to gender discrimination in the workplace that keeps women from gaining promotions or relegates them to lower-tier jobs, such as administrative work.

Pew’s research has showed the gender pay gap to be much smaller for younger women, though it widens when family responsibilities come into play.

Mothers age 25 to 34 earned 85 percent as much as fathers in the same age range in 2022, Pew found. Women in the same age group without children earned 97 cents on the dollar made by a man in 2022.

The Goldman plaintiffs argued that the company’s performance review system allowed for bias that devalued women’s work, and that managers had undue sway to base reviews on subjective judgments and used that authority to elevate men and punish women.

Under the terms of the settlement, which must still be approved by a judge, Goldman must hire an independent expert for three years to analyze its performance review and promotion processes, and conduct a gender pay-equity study.

In 2019, the company said it would expand its diversity hiring goals, aiming to have women make up at least half of its new analyst hires from college campuses.