Sheena Iyengar, a blind Indian-American professor at New York’s Columbia University was sued by an alumnus for gender discrimination. According to Elizabeth Blackwell, Iyengar asked her to do “demeaning female jobs", like applying her makeup and booking restaurants. According to the lawsuit filed against her in the Manhattan Supreme Court, Blackwell worked as “research associate” for Sheena Iyengar.
52-year-old Iyengar allegedly asked Blackwell to do “personal and supportive administrative and secretarial tasks,” a New York Post report said. “These tasks included applying Iyengar’s makeup and booking restaurants for her romantic dates,” Blackwell said in an interview, according to the Washington Square News.
Sheena Iyengar is a Columbia Business School professor and author of “Art of Choosing.” Blackwell argued that her male counterpart “encountered none of the obstacles," the suit alleges.
According to the suit, Iyengar assigned many research duties to the male co-worker, despite them being outside his program coordinator job description. Blackwell alleged she was kept away from the duties because “she was a woman,” the lawsuit read.
Blackwell accused the professor of “disturbing gender-based discrimination behavior and retaliation” in the lawsuit. In January 2019, Columbia terminated Blackwell, claiming her position had been eliminated, the complaint says.
Blackwell claimed that after getting her contract terminated, she found it difficult to land a job and that she had to deal with several mental health-related issues such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.
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