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September 21st, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Fmr. Deutsche Bank bank VP suing over gender bias

It's a gender discrimination lawsuit against a global financial giant, accused of what some call "mommy tracking."

Kelley Voelker, a vice president with Deutsche Bank's securities and lending desk, was fired this month after 14 years with the company. The mother of two says it all started after her second maternity leave, when she claims she lost big accounts and the company tried to demote here.

Voelker & attorney Douglas Wigdor discuss their claim with Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" this morning.

"Everything was fine. I was successful with all of my accounts. My accounts liked me. I got back from maternity leave and they were taken away," Voelker says. "I was a dedicated employee for 14 years. And despite great performance reviews, every single one of them, they never promoted me. And eventually they took my accounts away."

Wigdor says unfortunately Voelker's case isn't unique.

"Those are the unfortunate stereotypes that we keep seeing in the workplace," he says. "63 percent of new moms are actually working mothers. This is a real issue, especially in this economy where families need dual incomes. But when you have a company like Deutsche Bank where all of the board of directors and executive committee are all men, this sort of stereotype, that a woman when they come back from maternity leave is not going to work hard and is just going to abandon their job, is really what's going on. And you see this with Kelley. And ultimately, she was fired for complaining about it."

In Deutsche Bank's statement to ABC News, the company says "while we take all allegations of discrimination and retaliation very seriously, we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves against these allegations."

Filed under: Lawsuit • Women at work
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