A Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., partner filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company earlier this week in District of Columbia Superior Court, alleging that the company "flagrantly ignores its obligations under the law to treat women equally with men at the highest level of the firm."
Molly Finn, according to her complaint (PDF) filed July 27, was the highest-ranking female partner at the consulting firm until she was fired last September. Her termination takes effect on Oct. 31.
Finn accuses the firms’ Leadership Team – all of whom are men, she notes in the complaint – of consistently forcing out high-ranking women partners before they can reach the level of “Senior Partner.”
She also claims that male partners are paid more money and given faster tracks to advancement within the firm than women in a comparable position. As an example, she details golf trips with top firm partners that no women partners were invited to attend. “These outings presented a significant opportunity to network toward firm leadership positions – but only for men,” she writes.
Finn is being represented by Richard Salzman of Washington’s Heller, Huron, Chertkoff & Salzman. He could not immediately be reached this afternoon.
In a statement, Booz Allen spokesman James Fisher said that “Booz Allen does not comment publicly on details of personnel situations out of respect for an individual's privacy.”
“While we have not yet been served with the lawsuit, we are aware of Ms. Finn's allegations and strenuously deny them,” he said. “Because of our strong belief in the merits of our position, we intend to contest her claims through the litigation process.”
Finn joined Booz Allen in 1986 as a research associate, according to her complaint. She was made a partner in 1998.
After breaking up with her partner in 2006, Finn alleges that she was subjected to questions from firm leaders about her ability to work as a now-single parent. She said she was pushed to explain her ability to continue working at the same level to Ralph Shrader, president, CEO and chairman of the firm’s board of directors.
At one point, Finn claims she was told to “stop saying pro-woman, feminist things to Ralph.”
The case is before Judge Laura Cordero. An initial scheduling conference is scheduled for Oct. 28.