Whether they are prepared to admit it or not, some industries are frequently accused of discriminating against women. Of those the financial sector and the Police seem to have more than their share of allegations. That is not to say that they do not have senior female employees, but there are a number of cases where their treatment of women has been legitimately called into question. One such case was recently ruled on against the Police and its treatment of a black female officer, which was held to be "vindictive … spiteful … insulting, malicious and oppressive" treatment.
In a damning judgment, an employment tribunal criticised officers including the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The tribunal ruled in July that PC Carol Howard had been discriminated against because she was black and a woman and awarded her compensation and aggravated damages to show its disapproval of the Met's actions both before and after the case.
Howard was an armed officer whom the force hailed as an example of its progress on race after a public inquiry report in 1999 found it to be institutionally racist. Instead, her treatment has led to severe criticism. The tribunal ruled she had been "singled out and targeted" for almost a year by one boss, acting Insp Dave Kelly, because of her race and gender. Kelly ordered junior officers to ask Howard about her sex life and whether she was sleeping with a colleague, it found.
The tribunal had already found the Met had removed evidence of racial and sexual discrimination from documents it submitted to panel hearing PC Howard's case.
Howard, 35, had been in the force for 10 years, serving as an armed member of the diplomatic protection group and had previously been selected by the Met to appear in a newspaper feature ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.