Home U.S Arabs, Muslims report hundreds of discrimination claims each year

Arabs, Muslims report hundreds of discrimination claims each year


Essma Bengabsia was proud to be one of the first hijab-wearing women on the New York trading floor for BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest asset manager.

Hired in 2018 as an analyst, the North Bergen, New Jersey, resident was ready to make her mark on the financial world, after graduating from the prestigious NYU Stern School of Business.

“When I came into the company, I was the only person who looked the way I looked on the trading floor,” Bengabsia, 23, said in a recent interview. “I recognized I was very much charting new territory and trailblazing for women who look like me.”

Essma Bengabsia emcees a Modesty Styles fashion show in Teaneck, N.J., on Sept. 28, 2019.

But Bengabsia said her workplace turned hostile, as she faced repeated instances of discrimination for being Muslim, Arab and female. She detailed allegations in a first-person essay, “#MeToo at BlackRock,” published on Medium.com last month. 

BlackRock, a Wall Street behemoth that manages $8.7 trillion in assets, said in a statement that it investigated Bengabsia’s claims but did not find she had been the subject of discrimination or harassment.


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