Her education and natural talent propelled Deidre to the top of her industry. With a sub-specialty in Project Finance, Deidre previously represented Barclay’s Bank, as an agent, in a $30,000,000 syndicated secured credit facility to finance the restructuring and operation of Vision Energy and its subsidiaries. At the top of her game, working at Allen & Overy, her position was ripped from her hands.
Today, Deidre is embattled in an excruciating long-term litigation with Allen & Overy over a sexual harassment complaint she brought against her direct supervisor in 2008. Shortly after filing that complaint, she was dismissed from her position.
“This chain of events is similar to what happened to Ellen Pao and to other high-powered women who make legal claims under sexual discrimination laws,” Deidre explained. “Thus, like Ms. Pao, I work at attempting to change the pernicious misogynistic cultures that seem to be prevalent in traditionally male professions and that are particularly dangerous to ambitious women, who are perceived as ‘troublesome’ if they complain and then are dismissed from their firms.”
As a result of the lawsuit, she has lost almost everyone in her life. Financially and emotionally destroyed, Deidre could only watch as her once pristine reputation was thrashed—mocked by the international media. She has been publicly labeled a “slut” and a “crazy whore.” A longtime writer, Deidre’s novel Expat has too been hurtfully deemed an “erotic” or “pornographic” book.
“The UK Tabloids are always looking to sexually demean any woman who comes into the public eye. I think that is what happened to me. In the UK the Paparazzi followed me like I was walking around naked. I did learn an important lesson: never back down in the face of fear. Never back down if the system fails you completely.”
Learn more about sexual harrassment and know your rights – http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/legal-resources/know-your-rights-at-work/workplace-sexual-harassment/
Been a victim? Support groups exist – https://sexual-harassment.supportgroups.com/