Monday, July 13, 2009

At the Very Least, a Few People at PwC are Bigots

P. Dubya has had a couple of weeks. The Satyam story is not going away, interns in New York are rumored to be getting whip, and the firm has been pegged by the Somalian "Government" to take on a super-fun new project that will probably result in at least one bean counter death.

So now, because bad times aren't really bad times unless you're accused of bigotry, a former employee has filed a GBP 40 million lawsuit against the firm:
Mihaela Popa alleges she was the victim of racist bullying and was repeatedly ignored for promotion throughout the time she was employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London.
The 31-year-old says she was asked to do menial tasks such as filing while her less-qualified British colleagues were given more challenging jobs.
Can't say that this comes as a surprise re: the menial tasks for a "transfer" from another country. The typical modus operandi in the Big 4 seems to be that if you come from another office, as in the case, you're automatically branded as an idiot who is completely incapable of any task that doesn't involve using a copy machine. But this particular case gets a little more interesting:
Miss Popa claims she was made to feel like a prostitute because she came from Eastern Europe and that colleagues, including senior managers, responded to her questions by making sexual innuendoes.
Miss Popa also claims that during an office discussion about an outbreak of bird flu in Romania, one male member of staff pointed at her and said "this Romanian bird will have a slow death"
P. Dubya sure picks some charming fellows over there to work in the UK. Truth be told, the treatment in the States would probably be similar since the majority of Big 4 management teams (i.e. manager and above) in are filled with man-babies.

It's also worth mentioning that all the firms make a big push to celebrate their "diversity". This is pretty hard to take seriously when shit like this happens.

Oh, and just in case you think it's isolated, it's most certainly not. You rarely hear anything regarding harassment in these firms but everyone knows that it is ubiquitous. Work there for 6 months and you're likely to hear a story or witness at the very least borderline behavior.

We'll continue to follow this story as it moves along.

PricewaterhouseCoopers hit by racism claim [The Telegraph via Accountancy Age]

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