A former marketing executive in the U.K. says she was forced out of her job by harassment and discrimination from her boss, ranging from offensive jokes to an attempt on her life.
Jordan Wimmer, 29, is originally from Mississauga, Ont., but moved to London to work as a financier for Nomos Capital, a hedge fund company, in 2005. During her time with Nomos, Wimmer said she was subjected to a series of discriminatory practices from her boss, Mark Lowe. He often sent emails containing “dumb blonde” jokes to her — Wimmer has blonde hair — and made insulting comments about women. He also made comments about her “full figure” and said she was a “stupid blonde,” Wimmer said.
Lowe also forced Wimmer to go to a strip club and prodded her to have a private dance during a trip to Paris, Wimmer said, and sometimes brought scantily-clad prostitutes to meetings.
After a falling out over a loan, Wimmer was fired in February 2009. She proceeded to file a claim for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal for $7 million Cdn. In addition, she claimed the harassment had escalated to the point where she felt afraid for her life and the poisonous atmosphere at Nomos caused her to suffer from depression.
Wimmer claimed someone who looked similar to Lowe tried to run her down in a car one night and Lowe had mentioned to her that he knew “lots of Russians and could get rid of people in a heartbeat.” As a result, she began barricading herself in her home each night, fearing he had hired someone to kill her.
Lowe denied all of Wimmer’s accusations, saying the women he brought to meetings were girlfriends, including one who wore hotpants who he said was a banker. He also claimed the emails were harmless and he just forwarded them to others in the office. His comments to Wimmer, he said, were just jokes and not meant to embarrass or humiliate her.
Lowe’s lawyers denied he was involved in any incidents threatening Wimmer’s life, saying she was prone to “fantasy and exaggeration.”
The employment tribunal has yet to rule on the case.