Marilyn Booker, Morgan Stanley’s Former Global Diversity Chief Sues Bank For Racial Discrimination

Marilyn Booker, Morgan Stanley’s Former Global Diversity Chief Sues Bank For Racial Discrimination

Marilyn Booker, the former head of diversity at Morgan Stanley was fired in December after

“pushing for a plan that she said would help promote career advancement for Morgan Stanley’s black employees.”

Marilyn Booker spent most of her time at the company, as the firm’s first global diversity chief.

The former head of diversity at Morgan Stanley served from 1994 to 2010 and then worked in the firm’s wealth management division for most of the past decade. She’s now calling out the firm

“and two of its top executives, including CEO James Gorman, for racial and gender discrimination.”

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday (June 16th), states that Marilyn Booker’s firing reflects a pattern of widespread discrimination against black and female employees at the investment bank.

“Clearly, black lives did not matter at Morgan Stanley”

The complaint adds other instances in which Booker said she experienced discrimination in her 26 years with the company.  The suit also states that Booker was removed as the head of diversity in 2012, and put in a different role. The suit reiterated that the group’s head of diversity was white.

According to the suit, Booker says that there were a number of black candidates, that were up for positions at the firm, and they were not hired, without an explanation as to why.  Marilyn Booker alleges that her budget to promote diversity at the firm was regularly cut. The suit alleges,

“Rather than seriously examine its own role in perpetuating inequalities in hiring, pay and promotion, and in fostering toxic workplace cultures and consumer discrimination, Morgan Stanley has instead repeatedly stopped short of any meaningful major overhauls during prior opportunities for change.”

In a statement, a Morgan Stanley spokesperson said the firm denied Booker’s allegations and plans to fight the suit.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to improve the diversity of our employees and have made steady progress, while recognizing that we have further progress to make, we will continue to advance our high priority efforts to achieve a more diverse and inclusive firm.”

Last week, Morgan Stanley announced that it was adding Carol Greene-Vincent and Susan Reid, two black women, to its operating committee. Reid will be the firm’s current global head of diversity.  The company’s CEO said in an internal email,

“The death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police and the resulting public outrage had propelled his decision to promote the executives.”

The company will also donate $5 million to the NAACP and spend $25 million on diversity efforts inside the firm.

Booker claims that although the Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, has made several recent announcements to boost racial inclusion after the death of George Floyd, the bank still has spent years blocking efforts to address inequalities in the firm’s ranks.

What are your thoughts on Marilyn Booker’s allegations against the company? Let us know in the comments!

Authored by: Demi Lobo