Remember that time Stephen Schwarzman posed in two different sets of lingerie for a holiday card and sent it out to clients? Or the time Vikram Pandit told a bunch of people assembled at a work event, “There are three universal lies: Margins are weak, but we’ll make it up in volume; the check’s in the mail; and I won’t come in your mouth"? Or wait, when Tony James, in a room full of Blackstone employees, dragged an overweight executive to a mirror and said "What do you see? Because I see a lazy, fat fuck"? Or the time James Gorman threw himself a 50th birthday party and gave his employees a choice between doing a Jell-O shot off of his stomach or licking whipped cream off of his chest? What about the time John Thain decorated his office with whips and handcuffs and a picture of himself laid out across the hood of a Mercedes? Oh, oh, what about the time Henry Kravis celebrated a successful deal by "grabb[ing] a client and kiss[ing] him," upsetting said client so much that he complained to Kravis's boss the next day, with Kravis saying uninvited kisses and the like are "all part of the game"? Or when Steve Cohen, mired in legal troubles, flooded his Instagram page with photos of himself being trailed by photographers on the beach, wearing ripped white jeans and calling himself an "island boy"? Or when a former employee of Jamie Dimon accused the bank chief of "intentionally wearing skirts so short that people got an eyeful during business meetings" and generally "conducting a work atmosphere so filled with sexual innuendos and a river of vulgarities as to create needless job stress, tension, emotional distress, and humiliation on the part of the employees in his presence"? Or that classic time Lloyd Blankfein posed for New York Magazine wearing only a fur coat? Oh right, you don't because none of that ever happened and if it had it would've been THE ONLY THING PEOPLE WOULD'VE EVER WRITTEN ABOUT, EVER AGAIN.
Like many business leaders who find themselves under scrutiny, I am bone weary of petty media attacks. Like my fellow businessmen, I am frustrated by unchecked reporters who hope to write career-breaking stories by publishing anonymous allegations. But why as a woman am I also subjected to insulting and demeaning words that describe me as “self-proclaimed,” “self-promoting,” and “self-styled?” I have been alleged to “play the sex kitten card,” “to manage by fear,” to win business by being “provocative.” I am amazed that a Christmas Card with photos taken 17 years ago (ok, it was a big mistake, but I have owned it) is the most searched Lynn Tilton Google term, despite the fact that I have managed 13 investment funds with more than 1,000 investments over the last 15 years. Virtually every article written about me, good or bad, by a male or female, has focused on my dress, my hair and/or my jewelry. I have made it my practice not to watch my on-air interviews or read the written press about me unless required in order to respond. But if I’m certain of one thing, it is that no man would be forced into my shoes — not because they are six inch heels, but because we live in a world of double standards, female imposter bias and misogynistic media who perceive women as career-breaking targets.
Your move, LB.