The UK?s largest reseller, Computacenter, was involved in an industrial tribunal case this week as a former employee sued for unfair dismissal on the grounds of sexual discrimination.
On the first day of the case ? held at West Croydon?s industrial tribunal court ? Caroline Olds alleged that she had been passed over for promotions in spite of other employees having promotions created for them, citing examples of Chris Newman, David Sibbley and Steve Forster.
Olds had been employed at the reseller for seven years as an account manager. She was suing Computacenter for #162,000 in lost commission for six months, #9,999 for six months? wages and #532 of expenses.
Olds told the court that she was ?dismissed rather than given a promotional move?. She claimed she was forced to resign after being unfairly treated by Philip Hulme, founder of Computacenter. According to her evidence, a meeting was held on 17 September where it was mutually agreed by both parties to terminate her employment. Olds said she eventually left on 20 September.
In her evidence, Olds claimed that Mike Norris, Computacenter CEO, had told her ?he found women difficult to manage ? when you get a good one they are excellent but this is rare. Mostly they are very difficult to cope with.?
In a prepared statement, Computacenter stated: ?As the UK?s largest IT company, we pride ourselves on having a commitment to staff development and reward which we believe is second to none, and evidence of this can be seen in the large number of long-term employees we have.?
In July 1994, Computacenter was investigated by the Commission for Racial Equality following allegations of discrimination in the reseller?s selection and promotion procedures.
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