A woman who was denied promotion, despite being better qualified than male candidates, was awarded £19,000 as compensation for sex discrimination by an employment tribunal which ruled that the Claimant was a victim of “favouritism” by her employer towards male staff.
When the Claimant joined the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) as a grade 7 economist, there were no female economists at the higher grade 6 (the most senior level) among the headcount of 114 economists.
In 2017, two grade 6 posts were advertised at ONS, both of which the Claimant applied for and for both of which she was rejected without being offered an interview. Although she was the only candidate who had previously been employed at this grade, the jobs were given to male candidates with significantly less experience.
A third post was then created. The ONS claimed that this was in order to create an opportunity for male candidates who had passed the grade 6 promotion board. Female candidates were not told that the extra vacancy was available.
After her grievance about these matters was rejected, the Claimant resigned from the ONS because she did not think she had a future with them.
Upholding her complaint of sex discrimination, the tribunal agreed that “favouritism” existed towards male staff at ONS and their “approach to gender balance on the selection panels… pointed towards a general culture where discrimination and, in particular, sex discrimination, is not properly understood by those who are required to ensure its elimination”.
Renowden v Office for National Statistics
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