Back in May, a managing director from Bank of America named Megan Messina filed a lawsuit against her employer, alleging "egregious pay disparity" compared to her male colleagues (claiming that a man with whom she shared the co-head of global structured credit products title received more the double her compensation); violations of whistleblower protections; and a general culture of bias towards employees with testicles, in which her boss was allowed to "treat her like a summer intern," ban her from certain client events, and pose questions like "Have your eyes always been that blue?" In the suit, Messina (via her lawyers) summed up the environment at BofA as that of a "Bro's Club."
For the most part, it's been pretty much accepted by now that for the majority of its existence, Wall Street has been a club for bros. The only people who might quibble with that label are the men who worked on Wall Street in 1940 or earlier, and their argument wouldn't be that Wall Street wasn't a bro club, but that the phrase is completely redundant because Wall Street is no place for the ladies, unless they're working as secretaries. And while a lot of employers have done a lot to change the club to both include women and treat them as equals, few people would say that things are 100% fixed. See: a report of the pay gap for women in elite jobs that came out the same week Messina filed her lawsuit and "I was walking through Midtown with a managing director when he sped ahead of me to look at a woman. 'I had to get a look at those tits,' he said."
Now, most people with brains understand that when Messina and her lawyers used the phrase "Bro's Club," they were not referring to an official club that meets regularly and takes roll call and sends out weekly minutes on official letterhead, but as a way of describing a setting in which less overt, more insidious transgressions against women were allowed to take place. Bank of America, on the other hand...
In an answer to the suit filed late Friday, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank rejected most of the allegations without further comment. However, it specifically denied the existence of a bro’s club, saying the term was never used by her supervisor or other managers and was invented by Messina and her lawyers.