Female trainees at Merrill Lynch’s flagship Manhattan office were given copies of 'Seducing the Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top' by their boss - who also ordered them to attend a talk with the author, three former employees claim in a bias lawsuit.
The New York Post reports that the author encourages women 'to stroke men’s egos with flattery and manipulation in order to succeed in a male-dominated environment such as Merrill Lynch', the suit states.
Author Nina DiSesa was the first female chairwoman of the marketing firm McCann Erickson, whose clients include American Airlines and Weight Watchers.
Branch manager Joe Mattia endorsed DiSesa’s unorthodox get-ahead approach including flirting and sugarcoating criticism of male co-workers with flattery, the court documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court allege. She also encourages women to behave like a 'little sister' or a 'den mother' in the office.
The three female plaintiffs - Sara Hunter Hudson, Julia Kuo and Catherine Wharton - claim they were terminated in January 2009 after a brief, seven-month stint at Merrill because the financial firm favored men in the 'old boys’ network'.
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