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A CITY banker has won more than £2million in compensation after sexist male colleagues left a witch’s hat on her desk – and one man with the same job was paid £40,000 more.

Stacey Macken, a prime finance specialist based in London, sued French bank BNP Paribas, claiming over four years she was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds less than her male colleagues.

Finance specialist Stacey Macken, a prime finance specialist based in London, sued French bank BNP Paribas after suffering sexual discrimination at work

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Finance specialist Stacey Macken, a prime finance specialist based in London, sued French bank BNP Paribas after suffering sexual discrimination at workCredit: Twitter

She said once she complained, managers targeted her with unfair treatment.

Now, Miss Macken, 50, has won £2,081,449 – one of the largest awards ever made by a British tribunal.

Employment Judge Emma Burns slammed Miss Macken’s male bosses for acting ‘spitefully and vindictively’ and increased her compensation because the bank failed to apologise to her.

The London Central tribunal heard Miss Macken, previously a vice president at Deutsche Bank, was hired by BNP in Paribas on a salary of £120,000 in 2013.

But unbeknown to her, a male recruit hired with the same job title and responsibilities was being paid £160,000.

Within months of joining, she claimed she was exposed to sexist behaviour involving one of her bosses in the Prime Brokerage team, Matt Pinnock.

His former PA, Georgina Chapman, told a tribunal: “In October 2013, a large Halloween-style black witch’s hat was left on Stacey Macken’s desk after some of the Prime Brokerage team, including Matthew Pinnock, had gone drinking at the pub towards the end of the day.

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“I was working later than usual and was packing up to leave as they came back from their drinking session. They were visibly drunk and were racing around the nearly empty office being loud and boisterous.

“I arrived at work the next morning and there was a witch’s hat on Stacey’s desk, directly in front of her computer. Stacey arrived into work around 8.45am, which was when she saw the hat and asked me if I knew who had put it there.

“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.”

She added: “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.”

The tribunal heard Mr Pinnock also answered the phone to friends with the words “hi, f*** face” and “hi, sexy” and on one occasion discussed with Miss Macken how a friend and his wife had engaged in “prostitution” role play.

Another boss, Denis Pihan, was accused of routinely demeaning her by replying “not now, Stacey” when she tried to talk to him.

“When (she) asked him questions he would tend to say ‘not now, Stacey'”, the tribunal heard. “He did so often that the colleagues made sarcastic comments about it.

“In a chat on 21 March 2016 in which Mr Pihan was being discussed one of (them) wrote ‘NOT NOW STACEY:-)’.”

‘INHERENTLY SEXIST’

Miss Macken made repeated internal complaints about her treatment, in particular relating to her pay and bonuses and eventually took the bank to a tribunal, claiming more than £4 million in compensation and back pay.

The tribunal heard in her first four years her male peer was paid more than £167,000 in bonuses compared to the £33,000 she received.

The bank claimed they had hired her as a ‘junior’ and that her male colleague deserved his higher salary because he was her senior.

Miss Macken, from Fulham, West London, was successful in her claims of sex discrimination, victimisation, and unequal pay.

The tribunal ruled the leaving of a witch’s hat on her desk was an ‘inherently sexist act’ and the regular use of ‘not now, Stacey’ was branded a ‘demeaning comment’.

At Miss Macken’s compensation hearing, Judge Burns said: “We consider the tribunal panel found that Mr Pinnock and Mr Pihan behaved spitefully and vindictively towards Miss Macken because she had raised concerns about her pay and that they did have a discriminatory motive.

We consider the tribunal panel found that Mr Pinnock and Mr Pihan behaved spitefully and vindictively towards Miss Macken because she had raised concerns about her pay and that they did have a discriminatory motive.

Judge Burns

“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.”

Mr Pihan ‘apologised for causing distress’ at the tribunal but ‘did not acknowledge that he personally discriminated against Miss Macken, nor did he apologise for discriminating against her’.

The bank claimed it has now adopted a ‘detailed Gender Strategy and Gender Action Plan’ in response to its poor gender pay gap and is ‘trying to increase the number of women at senior management level’.

Miss Macken, who said her ordeal had an impact on her mental health, is also a qualified accountant who grew up in and was educated in New Zealand.

Her claims of harassment were dismissed and she lost a claim for damages over the ‘stigma’ she suffered in this case.

As part of her £2million compensation fee, Miss Macken received £51,400 to cover ‘pain and suffering’ caused, £35,000 to cover injury to feelings, and £15,000 in ‘aggravated damages’.

Source: thesun

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