Steve Cohen isn’t exactly known for playing nice with those who cross him in court. Preet Bharara, Prem Watsa and his ex-wife all know what we’re talking about. Laura Bonner, however, does not. This is surprising, as Bonner is the woman who threw Cohen and his Point72 Asset Management right into the teeth of the #metoo Zeitgeist, at a most inopportune time, with an explosive lawsuit alleging “an institutional bias that was so entrenched that it just made it pretty impossible for women to advance economically or professionally,” which bias was made manifest by Point72’s former president’s whiteboard, by Point72’s general counsel’s world-weary shrug in response, and maybe a little by the company the boss keeps. And also in all of the sensitive data she had access to as the firm’s head of talent analytics, a job she continues to hold and perform to at least some extent, while presumably continuing to make only 35% of what lesser employees with penises make. That said, it’s really not that bad!
Bonner continues to go to work at Point72, a situation she described as, "awkward but also not that bad." She said previously she would come to work "demoralized," but now she feels "a little bit more positive" about what she's doing…. When asked whether her job has changed at all since she filed the lawsuit, Bonner said, "My role is the same, but I'm a little less busy than I used to be."
And let’s be honest: This kind of behavior may be rewarded in those possessed of a Y chromosome, but coming from a person named Laura, it seems, well, a bit shrewish, and very definitely not director-ish.
She had been seeking a promotion to the director level from associate director but was denied. She said she believes her inability to move up at Point72 (and narrow the pay gap) was because she reported one of the members of the promotion committee to human resources for alleged harassment. She said he retaliated against her by not granting her the title of director….. Bonner said she was told she was "too aggressive to be promoted."
"You certainly don't build a cutting-edge technology platform by being a hothouse petunia, so I certainly had to be assertive to get things done," she said. "It's confusing to be labeled with that word, aggressive, when it's a culture of performance, and men are specifically told to be more aggressive and to break more china…."
"I don't think this is a question of nuance," she said.