"Here's to breaking more glass ceilings, in golf and everywhere else.”

Despite the remarkably positive message of this ad, KPMG is the subject of a $400M class-action lawsuit alleging a pattern of gender discrimination within the firm, including denying promotions to women and penalizing them for taking maternity leave.




According to the amended complaint, KPMG promotes fewer women to partner (18 percent) than the industry average of 23 percent. KPMG also promotes fewer women to senior manager (35 percent) positions than the industry average of 44 percent.


Further reading:

  • Federal Judge Sides with KPMG in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit, December 5, 2018

    • “KPMG scored a huge victory in court on Nov. 30, as a New York federal court judge declined to certify a long-running class-action lawsuit by thousands of current and former female KPMG tax and advisory professionals who accused the firm of gender, pay, and promotion discrimination dating back to 2008.”

      “But Schofield said Dukes “makes it extremely difficult for a gender discrimination suit to proceed as a class action when the discriminatory treatment was the product of local supervisors exercising their discretion in awarding pay and promotions,” not KPMG operating under a general policy of discrimination.”

  • KPMG Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Expands, AccountingToday, May 13, 2016

    • “The five additional class representatives joined the original plaintiff, Donna Kassman, a former KPMG senior manager, who filed suit against the firm in 2011, accusing KPMG of abruptly removing her from the promotion track after two male employees complained about her tone and direct approach.”

      …Charity, for example, was informed by her manager that he was surprised she “was still with the firm” because he believed that “single women” did not stay with the same job for long. When she raised the possibility of filing a formal complaint with KPMG’s HR department, a partner told her, “If you go to HR, it will turn on you.” Inman was told by her manager that she could not travel to work on some of the most lucrative accounts because she had young children at home. Even though a male colleague had a small child, she was told it was different because “you’re the mom.”

  • 1,000+ KPMG Female Employees Join Discrimination Suit, AccountingToday, January 23, 2015

    • “The Big Four accounting field is filled with individuals who, even more than the average American, find suing an employer particularly scary, perhaps because of all the hard work and long hours they have dedicated to their careers. That more than a thousand women have nonetheless taken the step to stand up against KPMG's discriminatory practices is a testament not only to their courage but also to how deeply rooted the problems at KPMG are.”

  • KPMG Sued for Gender Discrimination, AccountingToday, June 2, 2011

    • “The lawsuit was filed Thursday by Donna Kassman, 54, who worked in KPMG’s New York offices for 17 years. She resigned after she was denied a promised promotion and had her salary cut by $20,000 when she went on maternity leave. The firm allegedly told her she was being paid “too much” and when she asked about ways to earn back the $20,000, her male supervisor allegedly told her she did not need the money because she “had a nice engagement ring.”

      When she complained about her treatment at the firm and the promotion she was denied, her supervisors suggested that she attend more “happy hours” with her colleagues. She was also advised that her tone was “too direct” and she was “unapproachable.”

      The lawsuit alleges that KPMG engages in systemic discrimination against its female managers, including senior managers and managing directors.”

Katie Martell