Sexual Harassment Isn’t Uniquely American

Svetlana Lokhova is a British banker whose job matched something you would expect in a movie or television show. She kept insane hours, made a sizable income (approximately $1.1 million a year), and had to endure a misogynistic, harassing environment.

Lokhova worked for the Russian bank, Sberbank CIB in London. From the outset, she had to endure constant degrading comments and bullying. She was often called “Crazy Miss Cockhead” and “Miss Bonkers” and accused of being a drug addict. Since she was constantly being called these names, the company began to suspect that she actually was on drugs and was forced to undergo a drug test. She tested negative and passed.

On top of the drug addiction taunts, the men of the department had no shame in commenting on her body. On several occasions, she was told that the only reason she got hired was “because of her t—s.” the sexual harassment got so severe, that despite the healthy salary, Lokhova had to leave her position and take a leave of absence. She suffered a mental breakdown.

Lokhova’s claims eventually found its way to the Central London Employment Tribunal who reviewed the case. They ruled in her favor, awarding her the equivalent of approximately $4.7 million. Her award was broken down into lost earnings, damages for hurt feelings, and aggravated damages. The bank was further chastised for not taking proper disciplinary action against the men who were involved. In fact, the ring leader of bunch was given $250,000 to leave the company.

As a result of her traumatic experiences, the Tribunal found that Lokhova may never be able to work in finance again as she is still “suffering from a moderately severe psychiatric illness.”