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VP Says Anheuser-Busch Oppresses Women

ST. LOUIS (CN) - Anheuser-Busch encourages a "locker room" and "frat party" atmosphere designed to hold female executives behind their male counterparts, a corporate vice president claims in City Court.

Francine Katz was promoted to Vice-President of Communications and Consumer Affairs and was appointed to the Strategy Committee on July 1, 2002 and served in that role until she resigned effective Dec. 31, 2008.

Katz says that when she complained about not being paid as much as her male predecessor, she was told she was being paid market rate for her position. But shortly before she resigned, Katz says another executive told her that Anheuser-Busch's CEO has wide discretion over compensation for Strategy Committee members, that market rates were not a determining factor in pay, and that male committee members were routinely paid above market rate.

In addition to its locker room and frat party atmosphere, Anheuser-Busch maintains a culture that hurts female managers by keeping a low proportion of women in top corporate jobs and important committees; keeping gender disparities in compensation and promotion; excluding women from informal social networks; removing duties and responsibilities from female executives to reward or improve the status of male executives; failing to rotate women to assignments that would improve their career opportunities; and keeping gender-related classification systems for compensation that disadvantaged women, according to the complaint.

Katz seeks punitive damages. She is represented by Mary Anne Sedey of Sedey Harper.

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