Woman who won sex discrimination case says victims “should not suffer in silence”

Procurement specialist will receive £24,000 following Tribunal’s ruling

A woman has been awarded a five-figure pay-out, after being paid less than male colleagues and being passed over for promotion in favour of a man who was less qualified for the role.

Amy Arnold will receive £24,000 after launching a successful sex discrimination claim against UK Power Networks.

The 27-year-old, who had started as a procurement specialist in April 2014, became concerned that she was earning less than the men in the same organisation and had unsuccessfully attempted to raise the issue with bosses.

Setting out her concerns some nine months later, she said: “While I appreciate that everyone has negotiated their individual salaries when joining the business it doesn’t seem appropriate that these individuals who come to me for guidance and advice on a regular basis are earning a higher wage.”

There was a further flashpoint after she was told to pass professional qualifications and meet certain performance criteria.

Despite doing both, her application for a more senior role at the East Anglia-based business was nonetheless unsuccessful, with the firm instead handing the role to a male colleague with less experience.

This prompted Ms Arnold to initiate legal proceedings for sex discrimination and victimisation – which she claimed she had suffered because of her decision to ask questions about her salary.

Last week it was confirmed that the compensation – to cover injury to feelings, loss of opportunity and interest – had bene finalised.

Explaining his decision, Employment Judge Robin Postle said there appeared to be “little justification” for the disparity in pay between men and women. The Tribunal has also ordered that members of the firm’s procurement team receive equality training.

Speaking after the pay-out was agreed, Ms Arnold said: “I hope my case shows other people who are suffering from sex discrimination at work that it can be tackled.

“They are not alone and should not suffer in silence. Every case that is heard and won is a success for anyone who knows the pain of suffering discrimination for something that is completely out of their control. This issue must continue to be addressed.”