Pilot wins sex discrimination case

// 23 April 2005

A pilot who flies for British Airways has won her landmark sex discrimination case.

Jessica Starmer, who has a young child, found it difficult to cope with the long and irregular hours of a full-time pilot, and asked to work part time. BA refused her request, only letting her reduce her hours to 75% (rather than the 50% she wanted).

Quoted in the Scotsman, she said: “I am delighted with this result and that I will now be able to spend more time with Beth and balance caring for her with the responsibilities of my job. Being both a professional airline pilot and mother should in no way be incompatible.”

Too right. BA, though, are appealling the decision. There are only 400 women pilots in the UK (or 2.9% of the workforce). BA itself has been trying to attract more women to fly for them. No wonder their numbers remain so low, if they have such an inflexible attitude to working hours.

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