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A woman who won a sex discrimination case against French bank BNP Paribas is now seeking almost £3.4m in ‘stigma losses’, claiming the case has taken away her career.
Stacey Macken took the bank to tribunal in 2019, claiming she was paid significantly less than her male counterpart with the same job title.
She had joined the bank after taking voluntary redundancy from Deutsche Bank after eight years at a senior level, yet was hired as a junior on a £120,000 salary, while a male colleague in the same role earned £160,000.
She also experienced a number of sexist incidents, including male colleagues leaving a witch’s hat on her desk and another male colleague rebutting her questions with “Not now, Stacey”.
After complaining about the pay differential in 2014, there was a further deterioration in her working relationship with her managers. Following a grievance procedure, she took the bank to tribunal and won her case for direct sex discrimination, victimisation and unequal pay.
Now Macken has argued that the tribunal process has left her with anxiety, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder, and without employment opportunities.
Her new claim seeks £3,363,594 in “stigma losses” because of the impact the case has had on her career.
In a witness statement, she said: “They have taken away my career and destroyed my life because I asked to be paid the same as a man.
“I argue that the unreasonable, calculated and vexatious behaviour of the respondent has resulted in an unnecessary employment tribunal claim and proceedings.
“It is now known in the industry and is publicly available information that I brought an equal pay claim and sex discrimination claim against my employer. I have also had my professional reputation unfairly tarnished by being categorised as a poor performer.
“It is naive to think this will not severely hamper my future career. I had always hoped to take my career as far as possible and to maximise my earning potential. It is inevitable that I will suffer stigma losses.”
She has also asked for the bank to instigate an equal pay audit at the bank, and introduce equality and diversity training for managers.
A BNP Paribas spokesperson said that Macken had already received full back payment for fixed pay, bonus pay and pension contributions as per the instructions at the initial tribunal
“BNP Paribas recognises that it fell short in its duties to Ms Macken. It is determined to use this opportunity to strengthen its processes to prevent a similar situation arising again and has therefore engaged in a comprehensive remediation programme to address the shortcomings identified by the tribunal in its original judgment,” the spokesperson said.
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