Former Managing Director Sues Securities Firm

May 7, 2002 ( - The only female governor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has sued her former employer over claims she and other women were "physically and verbally" harassed and were discriminated against.

In her US District Court suit against securities firm ING Barings, Karen Hackett accused male co-workers of harassing women at the firm including a trader who made vulgar remarks to her and tried to kiss her on more than one occasion, according to a Dow Jones report.

Hackett’s suit said she was stripped of her management duties as a managing director because she was a woman.  Hackett worked for ING Barings until October 2000.

The lawsuit seeks at least $10 million in damages. Hackett first filed a complaint in December 2000 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as required for employees who want to sue their employers.

In 1999, Hackett was appointed NYSE’s first woman governor. As such, she joined a group of 20 people with the title, who, in addition to their brokerage firm jobs, are responsible for interpreting and enforcing the NYSE’s rules.

ING Barings was a unit of Dutch financial-services giant ING Group NV until substantially all of the operations were sold to ABN Amro Holding NV in May 2001.

Hackett’s suit names ING, ABN Amro, and three former male coworkers at ING Barings.