Advert

Judge Rules That Calling Women 'Birds' Is 'Plainly Sexist'

Published 
| Last updated 

Judge Rules That Calling Women 'Birds' Is 'Plainly Sexist'

A judge has ruled that calling women 'birds' is 'plainly sexist' after a case involving an ex-banker taking on their former employer.

The graduate analyst decided to tackle Barclays with a legal challenge after her boss repeatedly used the term to describe women.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Anca Lacatus said that James Kinghorn continually used the term, despite her making repeated requests for him to stop, the tribunal was told.

She claimed that her boss was trying to make her feel uncomfortable as she tried to make her way through her first investment banking job out of university.

Advert

According to reports, Mr Kinghorn thought that his use of the word was light-hearted and jocular, but the tribunal did not see things as merely banter.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The East London tribunal ruled that calling women 'birds' was 'plainly sexist' and the judge added that it was 'foolish' to attempt to claim irony after using the term because no-one would find it funny.

Lacatus is now set to receive compensation for her treatment.

Advert

She told the tribunal that her manager used the term to describe another female employee in February 2018, and she immediately took him to task about it.

However, he continued to use the term to describe women repeatedly, and even reportedly told her not to get in touch with HR about it.

He later claimed that he'd used the term as banter and is believed to have told her that telling her not to contact HR was a joke.

The tribunal was told that he has since accepted that the language that he used is inappropriate.

Advert

Judge John Crosfill said: "The use of the phrase 'bird' was a misplaced use of irony which inadvertently caused offence.

"We accept that when this was pointed out to [Mr Kinghorn], he ultimately got the message and stopped trying to be funny.

"We consider that it was very foolish to assume that anybody else would find this language amusing. The language is plainly sexist (whether misplaced irony or not)."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Advert

Judge Crosfill said he accepted that Kinghorn did not set out to deliberately offend the woman and that it took a while before she was sufficiently forceful in her opposition to his use of language, but he also said that she may have been reluctant to be too blunt with her boss, out of fear of losing her £46,000 per year job as a graduate analyst.

In the same case, the tribunal also ruled against Barclays for failing to adjust Ms Lacatus' working hours due to her painful endometriosis.

A Barclays spokesperson said: "An inclusive and respectful culture is critically important to us.

"We agree that the language used was inappropriate and not acceptable, as does the individual who used it."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Money, Interesting, Weird

Tom Wood
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Former Britain's Got Talent Contestant Rushed To Hospital After Stunt Goes Wrong

21 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Pubs Are Trialling Anti-Cocaine Spray In Their Toilets

an hour ago