HomeAsian AmericansVeteran attorney sues equity firm citing bamboo ceiling

Veteran attorney sues equity firm citing bamboo ceiling

A 15-year attorney at the private equity firm Portfolio Advisers is going public about her racial and sexual discrimination complaint against her former employer.

Michelle Lee of Darien, Connecticut wrote on LinkedIn that “Discrimination against Asian Americans is so ignored that people suffer in silence, and we shouldn’t have to.”

“I want change and I want people to recognize the unique types of discrimination that Asian Americans face at the workplace which to me is another form of hate and is psychologically violent,” she said in a video statement.

In her lawsuit, she alleges Portfolio Advisers passed her over for promotion and paid less than her White counterparts, reported Marketwatch.

She said a co-worker sexually harassed her, that other co-workers called her “ice queen” and labeled her difficult to work with.

“The types of discrimination that AAPIs face at work are so masked and subtle that there isn’t even a language for it and oftentimes it’s cloaked under subjective factors such as personality, likability and leadership which causes Asian Americans to internalize it,” she said.

She said the discrimination made her question herself and wonder what she was “likable” and “intelligent.”

“I encourage you to share your story. You are not alone,” she included.

Her attorney is Charles Jung, partner at Nassiri & Jung LLP.

Portfolio Advisers did not respond to Marketwatch’s request for comment.

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  1. If you are easy to work with, I don’t think people would say it’s difficult to work with you. If you are warm, I don’t think people would call you ice queen.


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