'Completely let down' | Barclays VP overlooked for promotion due to race & gender, tribunal claims

Barclays VP overlooked for promotion due to race & gender, tribunal claims

A Barclays vice president is suing the bank for £230,000, alleging she was passed over for promotion because of racial, religious and sex discrimination.

As reported by Reuters, Nazia Lawrence joined the company in 2015 and works in execution services, a back office part of the bank that helps to implement post-crisis risk management rules. It also handles risk and controls.

According to the case, the bank expanded Lawrence's role in 2019 and she continued to receive outstanding performance reports. However, despite her high performance, she was allegedly treated less favourably than white male colleagues at the same professional level, who were promoted while she was not.

It was also said that Lawrence suffered mental distress and took annual leave and periods of unpaid sick leave to recover.

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In addition to financial compensation, Lawrence has asked the Employment Tribunal to recommend further training at Barclays and a transparent process to be outlined and adopted for promotions.

At the start of an employment tribunal being held in London, Lawrence said she felt “completely let down” by Barclays. The company declined to comment, Reuters reported.

Sheila Aly, Lawrence's lawyer said: "There is a real need for more transparency in the city so that perceptions of discrimination can be avoided. There is little to no need to hide actions if they really are genuine.”

The case is proceeding.

Discrimination in UK Workplaces

Lawrence's claims reflect some of the discrimination issues that still exist within the workplace in the UK.

The 2022 Gender Equality in the Workplace report by Randstad, which surveyed 6,000 working adults, revealed that two-thirds (67%) of women had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace of some form.

And when it comes to the issue of gender, a 2023 study revealed that around one in seven HR chiefs think men are better suited to senior management jobs than women.

The revelations came as part of new research from the charity Young Women’s Trust. In the charity’s latest annual survey, which spoke to 4000 young women, 1000 young men and nearly 1000 HR decision makers, 28% of HR leaders agreed that it is harder for women to progress in their organisation than men.

Furthermore, 15% agreed that men are better suited to senior management jobs than women, and 19% said that they would be reluctant to hire a woman who they thought might go on to start a family. Only 13% of HR professionals said the same for a man.

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