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Former Exec Sues Cushman & Wakefield for Race, Gender Discrimination

Nicole Urquhart-Bradley, a former executive at Cushman & Wakefield, says the "old boys club" there is alive and well.

As the only black woman in her position, she should know because she was once the firm's "ambassador for diversity." But in Urquhart-Bradley v. Cushman & Wakefield, she says she was held back and ultimately fired.

Her lawyers want $30 million in the race and gender case. Apparently, the cost of membership in the old boys club has gone up.

"Devaluing Women"

Plaintiff's attorney David Sanford said the "old boys" network will no longer be tolerated. He said Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate brokerage, is part of a bigger problem.

"The commercial real estate industry has a long-standing reputation for devaluing women," he said. "It's time they recognize that these behaviors cannot continue."

The plaintiff worked out of the company's Washington, D.C. office and was head of Valuation and Advisory. She was "one of only two females" in service-line leadership.

In her lawsuit, Urquhart-Bradley alleges that she faced "undue hostility" from chief operating officer Todd Schwartz and Shawn Mobley, president of the company's eastern region.

"Abruptly Terminated"

She said revenue in her division had grown by 59 percent, but when she asked for benefits that her white subordinates received, Mobley "accused her of disloyalty and abruptly terminated her employment."

In a press release, her lawyers said the company promoted a "white male" subordinate to replace her. They said he was "far less qualified" than Urquhart-Bradley for the position.

According to reports, Cushman & Wakefield said it does not comment on pending litigation.

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