Tribunal rules against Travers in pregnancy discrimination case

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  • Like many law firms Travers have failed in many ways, showing that once again law firms are

    1) Out of date sexist institutions, with many women not making the final step and are disregarded for contracts because they have a husband (yes this has been heard in a selection panel)

    2) They think they are above the law, relying on the fact that if a case like this arises then even if they lose the biggest loser will be the claimant. A case like this will not reward Katie to the sort of financial reimbursement that she would have had had she worked.

    3) How poor law firms are at publicity. Even with all the Travers comments in here (we notice the long anon comment), Sometimes it is best just to shut up.

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  • So they think signing some document means they are not discriminatory?
    Only 10% of their partnership is female, why not 90%. Because of how they treat women of course and why it is "Andrew" and "Julian" taking decisions not a Jane and a Mary?

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  • Anonymous | 20-May-2013 11:45 am

    I wish Katie and her new child well, but perhaps some of the comments against Travers may be somewhat unfair.

    Katie was unsuccesful in 3 out of 4 of her applications, failing to meet the required standard in corporate, tax and litigation. That perhaps illustrates that she may not have been the high standard of NQ required today (or at least to a high enough standard to justify an NQ city salary). She may have been qualified enough and performed well in her reviews to date, but she maybe did not show signs of progressing to that next stage, which is a giant leap to take.

    Furthermore, partners talk throughout these recruitment processes. Of course they do. Who is to say that, upon hearing the fact that a trainee had "hedged her bets" and declared in four separate interviews that "this is the job in law that I really want" and that "I really see myself as a committed, enthusiastic [insert legal team here] lawyer", the partners decided that they would be best off saving a salary and holding off to a) advertise externally or b) recruit at a later NQ intake when someone who is solely interested in their team becomes available?

    The fact Travers were not guilty of discrimination in relation to the 12-month litigation contract also illustrates that it is not a firm wide problem. She was not chosen for that position as she was not the best candidate for it; not the fact that in all inevitability she would be absent for at least one third of the contract length (which in itself would surely have to be a consideration).

    Of course best wishes to Katie and good luck with her future career, but I do not think Travers would have risked such negative publicity and court costs had the partners been as discriminatory and inconsiderate as has been suggested on this forum.

    Not an employment specialist but sure 4th paragraph is an admission of guilt isnt it?

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  • I wonder if the trainee concerned had a daughter . If so she will one day be proud of her Mother who no doubt hopes that the professional world will be a more equal place when she grows up !

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  • Anyone who's worked for City firms knows that they are inherently sexist institutions. Many of the male partners are white, public school, Oxbridge, rugger bugger types, and they do genuinely view women - and other men who don't conform to this stereotype - as inferior species.

    The whole culture of the City is based on testosterone and aggression, albeit disguised under a suave and cool exterior. This attitude is just as prevalent in non-contentious work as it is in litigation. For a woman to succeed in this culture is extremely difficult, as it's an unfortunate fact of life that assertive women are seen by this type of man as unpleasant and `awkward', so that they don't receive the respect and co-operation to which they're entitled.

    Such men are, of course, intelligent enough to disguise their views (except in the exclusive company of their fellow fossils) and will quite happily sign up to every diversity and inclusion charter under the sun. But when it comes down to it if they can discriminate and get away with it they will.

    I've not the slightest doubt that amongst these types the unfortunate claimant is already being referred to as Katie Tantrum, and I'm afraid that instead of seeing her as a courageous seeker of justice many firms will have marked her card as a potential troublemaker.

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  • Given she walked out on a completion in her corporate seat (see previous articles) it's surprising she even made it to her final seat.

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  • The thing that strikes me is the obviously sexist remark even after the event from the Travers' spokesperson, by only mentioning WOMEN partners who have flexible working arrangements. Isn't it possible for men to have flexible working arrangements too? The implicit assumption here is that, of course, we are jolly decent sort of folks because we allow women to work flexibly. Until there is a trend for men to work flexibly - which requires law firms like Travers to realise that men are equally entitled to apply for flexible working, there will be discrimination against women by law firms like Travers.

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  • This is terrible PR for Travers and particularly for Andrew and Julian whose names will now be long remembered in the City as "discriminators". This should have been settled commercially and it is a wonder why Andrew and Julian subjected themselves to such shame by not doing this.

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