Cultural views lead to race and sex bias claim

HR manager Christine Pratt is claiming sexual discrimination
against her former Japanese employer who said that in his country, men are
considered more intelligent than women.


Pratt, who is claiming sexual discrimination against Sanden
International at an employment tribunal, claimed the remark was made by
managing director Tony Noji to explain her lack of success in implementing an
equal opportunities policy.


She joined the firm as an administrator in 1998, but was
subsequently promoted to HR manager.


The tribunal heard that Pratt, a mother of one, took steps
to raise the profile of women within the company and introduce internal
equality policies across Europe.


Pratt, 46, told the tribunal in Southampton that after being
given the managerial position her title was removed and she was undermined by
her male bosses in an attempt to make her leave.


She said she was made to feel sidelined when the company
appointed a male HR general manager above her.


"I am saddened when I consider how very proud Sanden is
of its origins, its product and of its internal ISO and quality procedures, but
then observe the little emphasis it places on people issues, such as equality,
morale and the extraordinarily high labour turnover at their European
headquarters in Basingstoke," she said.


Pratt, who is also claiming racial discrimination, said the
bias she suffered was a result of the Japanese attitude towards women.


The tribunal was adjourned and is due to be completed in

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