Banker wins £4m sex bias claim after witch’s hat left on desk by male colleagues

John Dunne
Belittled: one of Stacey Macken's bosses at BNP Paribas used the phrase "not now, Stacey" so often that colleagues copied it

A City banker whose male colleagues left a witch’s hat on her desk has won her claim for sex discrimination.

Stacey Macken claimed French bank BNP Paribas paid her less than men on the same level and she suffered from a “hostile” culture at its London office.

She said she was belittled by one of her bosses who kept telling her “not now, Stacey” — a phrase he used so often that colleagues copied it.

The £120,000-a- year worker was hired in 2013 but claimed she was exposed to sexist behaviour within weeks, including an incident when a Halloween-style witch’s hat was left on her desk by colleagues who had been out drinking.

Ms Macken took the bank to a tribunal in April, claiming more than £4 million in compensation and back pay.

The bank said they had hired her as a “junior” and that a male colleague deserved his higher salary because he was her senior.

However, the Central London Employment Tribunal has now ruled in her favour relating to claims of unequal pay, sex discrimination and victimisation. Her claims of harassment were dismissed.

The judgment said Ms Macken, who is in her forties and from Fulham, had been the victim of unfair treatment because she was a woman.

“Leaving a witch’s hat on a female employee’s desk, in a predominantly male working environment, was an inherently sexist act that potentially reflects on the nature of working environment for the claimant and the approach that was taken to women,” the judgment reads.

It also found that once Miss Macken began to complain about her treatment she was subject to victimisation by her managers.

The size of the award Miss Macken will receive has yet to be determined.