A woman was awarded over $2.7 million in compensation after she found out that a male colleague with the same job and responsibilities was earning $54,000 more than she was.
Stacey Macken reported sex discrimination, victimisation and unequal pay at French bank BNP Paribas, where she worked as a prime financial specialist.
Macken ended up winning over 2.7 million in compensation.
Her win is considered as one of the largest awards to be made by a British Tribunal.
Judge Emma Burns claimed Macken’s male bosses were acting spitefully and were vindictive. The judge also increased her compensation because the bank did not apologize to her for what had happened.
According to reports, the banker was hired by BNP Parabis on a salary of $160,000 in 2013 after her role as vice-president at Deutsche Bank.
She later found out that a male recruit was hired with the same job title and the same responsibilities but had a larger pay, which was at $216,000.
The woman also said that she was exposed to a culture of sexist behavior, which was escalated by Matt Pinock, one of her bosses at the job.
Georgina Chapman, his former personal assistant, told the tribunal of an occasion in which a black witch’s hat was left on Macken’s desk after their team went out for a drinking session one afternoon.
Upon returning to work, Macken asked the PA if she knew what happened.
Recalling the moment, Chapman said:
I told her that I did not know, but I suspected it was one of the drunk team members, because they were the only people in that area of the office the evening before, which, combined with their drunkenness, made them most likely to have done it. Stacey was visibly upset and confided in me that she felt really uncomfortable working with those male colleagues, knowing that one of them had purposefully gone out of their way to leave a witch’s hat on her desk.
Denis Pihan, another boss, was accused of using demeaning language when speaking with Macken.
Denis Pihan, another boss of Macken, constantly used demeaning language when speaking with Macken.
He also repeatedly told her to talk some other time when she tried to speak to him.
Miss Macken reportedly made internal complaints about all the sexit treatment in the office, however there were no actions taken.
In her first four years, her male peer was paid over $225,000 in bonuses compared to the $44,000 she received.
Judge Burns released a statement about the incident, saying:
We consider the [bank] should apologise more fully from a purely moral perspective, but we decline from ordering it to do this. In our judgement, for an apology to be effective it needs to be genuine and heartfelt rather than ordered… We have taken into account the bank’s failure to apologise when awarding aggravated damages. We consider this is the correct approach in this case.
BNP Paribas released a statement about the incident, saying:
We at BNP Paribas understand that we fell short in our duty to Ms Macken. We are actively considering the Tribunal’s judgement to see what we can learn. Our aim is to ensure that all of our people are treated with the respect they deserve at all times. We are pleased that the Tribunal recognised the seriousness with which we have taken its findings and the major steps forward we have made to try to ensure that nothing like this happens again.
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