Nielsen closes discrimination lawsuit with Black Exec who alleged she was denied boarding
The consumer data and rating aggregator Nielsen reportedly defended itself against a high-performing black executive who was hoping for a promotion.
Nielsen Holdings has settled a racial discrimination lawsuit against Cheryl Grace, a black woman who worked for years as one of the company’s top engagement officers.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Grace previously served as senior vice president of the US Strategic Alliance and Consumer Engagement at Nielsen.
The terms of the settlement between Nielsen and Grace prohibit either party from disclosing the terms of the contract.
However, the Sun-Times reports how Nielsen protested for years against allegations of systemic racism. The Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference, hosted by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. co-founded a series of protests and reformation campaigns against Nielsen.
In previous press releases, the SCLC alleged that Nielsen exercised racial prejudice when deciding whether to promote or hold executives with color.
Nielsen, the Sun-Times notes, tracks and sells information about consumer habits.
Downtown Chicago; Image courtesy of John Picken via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org
While at the company, Grace launched Nielsen’s annual program to document the purchasing power of Black, Hispanic and Asian consumers, and gave the company a multicultural face.
Even so, Grace later filed a lawsuit against Nielsen. In her complaint, Grace said that Nielsen’s senior executives prevented her from getting promotions despite her consistently high performance ratings.
Grace says she tried to voice her concerns to David Kenny, Nielsen’s chief diversity officer, but was dismissed and subjected to retaliation.
After filing a formal complaint, Grace alleged in her lawsuit that she had faced retaliation, including willful marginalization and an increasingly hostile work environment.
Grace later claims that her job responsibilities were reduced – and that she was eventually offered a buy-out package to leave Nielsen for good.
The SCLC said it decided to protests against Nielsen after learning of Grace’s lawsuit.
“We’re going through the court of public opinion, we’re going to make this public,” said Charles Steele, CEO of SCLC, in a statement. “Racism is a virus that is no different from COVID-19. And it’s very contagious. “
Steele helped resolve the lawsuit by allegedly speaking to Nielsen board members. He had also tried planning a public protest outside Nielsen’s headquarters in Chicago, but had to cancel the event due to blizzard conditions.
Steele says he is happy with the outcome of the case.
“We didn’t want to sit back and tolerate this kind of racism. We wrote to the Chairman and CEO of Nielsen. We met with them. We asked them to settle this lawsuit, ”said Steele. “And in just a few months, Nielsen decided to solve the problem. With that, our job is done. “
Grace officially left her position at Nielsen on March 4th. Grace wrote on LinkedIn that she and Nielsen had a “friendly” arrangement. The lawsuit was then dismissed on March 12.
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