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Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Record payout for sex discrimination
Julie Bower
Julie Bower was forced to resign
A former city analyst is being paid a record 1.4m ($2.1m) in compensation for sex discrimination.

The payment was being made after the investment bank Schroder Securities dropped its appeal against the decision of an employment tribunal.

Last year, Julie Bower won her complaint that she was forced to resign from the company because of sex discrimination.

The tribunal ruled that her bonus of 25,000, which was later increased to 50,000, was "picked from the air".

And it said this was part of a plan to drive her out of Schroder Securities.

Male analysts at the firm were each paid bonuses of up to 650,000.

Culture of secrecy

The bank, which is now part of Saloman Smith Barney, announced on Wednesday that it had decided to drop its appeal against the tribunal's decision.

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), which supported Ms Bower's case, said the award was a record for sex discrimination.

Chairwoman Julie Mellor said: "A culture of secrecy about pay makes it all too easy for discrimination to creep in."

Julie Bower's case is a stark illustration of the problem."

She said if City employers wanted to capitalise fully on the talent available to them they needed to be sure their working culture didn't prevent women from getting to the top.

"The EOC receives inquiries from women working in the City who are often concerned about being victimised if they make a complaint," Ms Mellor said.

"The problems they described include barriers to promotion, a long hours culture, sexual harassment and the difficulty of access to flexible working practices when returning from maternity leave," she added.

See also:

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