A ROYAL Air Force nurse who helped treat the severely wounded at Wroughton’s military hospital has been awarded more than £557,000 against the Ministry of Defence after accusing the RAF of favouring men instead of women for promotion in the medical field.
Wendy Williams, who was ward manager at the Princess Alexandra Military Hospital, left to become the highest ranking RAF nurse as a Group Captain.
But she complained at Birmingham Employment Tribunal, where she made a legal claim for sex discrimination against the MoD, that she had not been selected for the position of Commodore in the Defence Medical Group because she was a woman.
A male group captain got the top medical job instead of her.
She told an earlier hearing: “It was apparent the promotion process was stacked against me as a nurse and midwife.”
She sought compensation from the MoD after complaining she had been humiliated, demoralised and “totally let down” by the RAF’s attitude towards promoting women.
Ms Williams accused the RAF of a lack of transparency.
Tribunal judge Victoria Dean later said later Ms Williams had won her case and a decision over compensation would be made at a later date.
Now she has announced that Ms Williams has been awarded a total of £557,038.70.
In announcing the award, Miss Dean made recommendations to the MOD.
She said: “With immediate effect all personnel participating in assignment, promotion or recruitment activities should be trained in equality and diversity as referred to in the Equality Act.
“The tribunal also recommends that the respondent shall, before the end of this year, and thereafter, conduct an equality impact assessment for all positions and selection for promotion processes.
“The tribunal furthermore recommends that with immediate effect, the respondent shall assess each medical appointment, open to all medical rank applications, and that research on female representation be initiated.”
Miss Dean said the tribunal had been told that only six of 470 top positions among the Armed Forces medical staff had been held by women between 2011 and 2012.
Ms Williams was promoted to group captain after leaving Wroughton, where she had treated severely wounded servicemen and women.
Ms Williams’ work had been praised by Brigadier John Parker at the tribunal hearing.
He said :”Her performance, during a very demanding period, revealed an officer of great skill, energy, drive and potential as well as having an excellent understanding of the operational environment of an NHS Trust.”
Retired Air Vice Marshall Evans described Ms Williams work as “outstanding in managing an unprecedented number of seriously injured operational casualties.”
Ms Williams has moved to Cambridgeshire following retirement. Her compensation claim had been opposed by the Ministry of Defence and the sex discrimination allegation denied.