A jury made punitive ward of $250 million against pharmaceutical giant Novartis in May. This was the largest award ever in a gender discrimination case, involving allegations of 5600 women over five years. The award will likely rise up to near $1billion when the court next deals with back pay and compensation. The evidence was disturbing and alarming, showing that executives at Novartis not only consistently discriminated against women in pay and promotion but even used female employees as lures to attract clients and denigrated them as professionals. But most saddening is the lack of empathy or remorse about the harm caused. One man accused the women of lying and suggested that several were “troubled.” Well I would be troubled too if I had to work in such a toxic workplace. Source: Ann Woolner, Bloomberg May 20, 2010.
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