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International Business London broker wins sexual discrimination lawsuit against BNP Paribas

A female BNP Paribas broker, whose boss repeatedly brushed aside her questions by saying “not now, Stacey,” has won a sexual discrimination and victimisation lawsuit in a London employment tribunal.

Stacey Macken, who is suing the London branch of the bank for £4-million (US$4.9 million) from the London branch of the bank, alleged she was paid less than male peers and subjected to sexist behaviour that included colleagues leaving a witch’s hat on her desk.

The case has been brought at a time of increasing scrutiny of sexual discrimination in the workplace in the wake of the #MeToo movement, spawned by a wave of allegations of sexual misconduct across myriad fields including global entertainment, business, religion and sports.

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Macken, who still works for the bank, alleged she was belittled and faced performance reviews that were deliberately designed to present a false picture of her contributions. She also alleged her boss told her: “We don’t think this is the right bank for you and what do you want to do about it?”

The tribunal said it had not been persuaded that gender played no part in how bonuses had been set and that Macken, a former vice president at Deutsche Bank, had also been the subject of direct sex discrimination and victimisation.

It dismissed a separate allegation of harassment.

“Leaving a witches’ hat on a female employee’s desk, in a predominantly male working environment, was an inherently sexist act that potentially reflects on the nature of working environment for the claimant and the approach that was taken to women,” the London Central employment tribunal ruled.

It has yet to decide on the amount of a payout.

A spokesman for BNP Paribas declined to comment.

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