Times caption: Donna Ball was paid more than male colleagues and had overestimated her value to the bank, the tribunal found (GAVIN RODGERS)
Good news in yesterday’s Times. Emphases ours:
A woman lost a £400,000 sexism claim against her employer after a tribunal found that she was paid more than most of her male peers.
Donna Ball, 53, said her progress at Coutts, the banker to the Queen, had been halted by a “glass ceiling” of discrimination against women. Ms Ball, an associate director, alleged that her employer resembled an “exclusive gentlemen’s club” that blocked her promotion and underpaid her.
The Central London Employment tribunal rejected her claim after concluding that she “has a higher perception of her performance” than she could demonstrate with evidence.
Ms Ball said that she should be paid more than her line manager and his manager because she was a law graduate and neither of them had a degree. [J4MB: We understand her position at the bank was not a legal one. What astonishing narcissism, for her to believe she should have earned more than her boss’s boss simply because she held a qualification unrelated to her work.]
The tribunal was told that Ms Ball, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, joined the bank in 2010. Her basic salary is £60,000 and she receives a variable bonus of about £10,000. She wept as she told the tribunal that she had been denied equal pay since 2013 in what she alleged was the latest case of “sexism in the City”. The judges disagreed and noted that she was paid more than all but one of her male counterparts in the commercial banking team.
Judge Tina Elliott recalled Ms Ball’s claim that she ought to earn more than her manager David Waters, executive director of commercial banking, and his boss Chris Dos Santos, head of commercial banking.
Judge Elliott said: “The claimant has a higher perception of her performance as demonstrated by her evidence that she should be paid more than her line manager and the manager above him. We did not agree with this perception.”
The panel rejected Ms Ball’s claim that Mr Waters was a liar who went out of his way to block her career path. It noted that he had put her forward for promotion in 2016 but she failed her selection interview.
The bank was the subject of a sexism case last year when Harry Keogh, head of its private wealth department, resigned amid allegations of heavy drinking, lewd comments and groping.
Mr Waters, who has worked at Coutts for 33 years, claimed he had a good relationship with Ms Ball before her claim. Ms Ball has been on sick leave since she was passed over for promotion in September last year.
The tribunal rejected all Ms Ball’s claims of gender discrimination, equal pay and victimisation. She withdrew a claim of age discrimination.
A Coutts spokeswoman said after the verdict that discrimination was not tolerated by the bank and employees attended training modules on sexual discrimination and harassment.
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