Last week, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce's longtime membership director, Judy Braatz was suddenly removed from the organization's website.

Rochester Chamber logo

Lots of speculation came out about her unceremonious departure. Then a letter she submitted to the chamber board was leaked to the public turning speculation into reality and raising serious allegations of sexism and discrimination against the Chamber's President, Rob Miller. Braatz has remained silent during the exposure of the turmoil at the Chamber but many in the community are concerned about her treatment and others that have left the chamber due to these allegations. The MedCity Beat shared the letter from Braatz that provided extensive insight on the allegations on what she and other women have experienced under Miller's tenure.

Braatz alleges:

  • Miller acted in a bullying manner.
  • Miller attempted to demean her in front of others by referencing an alleged drinking problem.
  • Miller attempted to force her to resign.
  • Miller referenced the alleged high cost of her healthcare.

Braatz refused to resign and silently has stood stoic in her battle to return to the Chamber. The growing tension forced Miller out as a result. He tenured his resignation yesterday.  He's defending himself and says "a good leader knows when to leave."  Here's what he told ABC 6 News.

Sexism and age discrimination is nothing new to the workforce. It is as prevalent as it has been decades ago. Women continue to experience it and research proves that it hurts everyone in the long run. Statistically, Forbes reported that there’s still only 50% women in the labor force, compared to 77% of men. And it is much more difficult for a women to get promoted, making equitable wage to a man.

“In America, where women are graduating college at a rate of 2:1 over men, women remain underrepresented at every level in the corporate pipeline, earn less money they men and are still 35% more likely than men to live in poverty. In the workplace, women receive less informal feedback than men—despite asking for it as often—have less access to senior-level sponsors and are three times more likely to think their gender will make it harder to get a pay raise or promotion.”

Furthermore, age discrimination is illegal and there could be recourse against the Chamber if the allegations are proven to be true. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that age discrimination in the work place that involves harassment and discrimination due to age is unlawful.

The Forbes article goes on to state “complacency is dangerous”. If the trend keeps up, it will take 170 years to remove gender inequity in pay and employment opportunities for men and women.

Don't expect to see Braatz back down from this anytime soon. Her letter speaks for itself in her public silence.


More From Y-105FM