Dell sued over sex discrimination

Dell has been sued for $500 million by four female executives, who accuse the company of systematic sex and gender discrimination.

The lawsuit alleges that in Dell's recent round of layoffs which saw around 8,800 staff axed globally, the company targeted woman and employees over 40.

The suit goes on to allege that Dell operates an "old boys network" which pays men higher wages for equal work, and fails to promote woman into management positions. It blames this policy for the lack of women on the board's "fourteen-member Executive Leadership Team".

The lawsuit also claims that following the layoffs men will hold around 80 per cent of Dell's management positions.

"The plaintiffs, who as HR specialists are intimately familiar with the company's employment practices, seek to change Dell's discriminatory policies regarding pay, job placement, promotion, and termination," said a statement from law firm Sanford Wittels & Heisler, which is representing the woman.

"The lawsuit demands $500 million in damages for a class of thousands of current and former Dell female managers and executives, and older employees disproportionately affected by the company's mass layoffs in 2007 and 2008."

"The numbers don't lie. Once Dell produces its pay, promotion, and layoff records and statistics, we are confident the truth will come out and our clients' claims of discrimination will be vindicated."