My story: Sonya

I was working as a sales manager, with four members of staff reporting to me. I managed all the day-to-day aspects of their work, and I appraised them every year in line with company policy. My sales figures were good and our team hit all the targets. I got on well with my line manager and was happy in my job. But when he left, problems started.

Change in my responsibilities

My new manager started by taking away my appraisal duties and carrying out my team’s appraisals himself. He did not do this for any of the other sales managers. They were all men, and they all kept their appraisal duties. I was confused and angry. My manager didn’t give a reason for taking away my appraisal duties. It was humiliating because I felt demeaned in the eyes of my team and other colleagues. Soon after that he also took away some of my responsibilities, such as work allocation and the responsibility to sign off on big sales. I was very upset because I felt it looked like these tasks were taken away because I wasn’t up to the job.

Raising a grievance

I couldn’t think of any reason for this treatment by my new manager except that I was a woman. I raised a grievance and it was investigated by senior management. In the grievance decision they agreed with me that my manager had discriminated against me because I was a woman. He was disciplined and I was given a different line manager. All my responsibilities were reinstated. I was so pleased and relieved to have my whole job back, although it was a very upsetting process to have gone through.