Ms Svetlana Lokhova, 32, worked for Troika Group UK, the London subsidiary of the Russian Sberbank, as a banker for a number of periods from 2011 until she resigned from her job last year. She resigned from her role after she was subjected to behaviour from colleagues which she deemed to be discriminatory and harassing and made claims for constructive dismissal, victimization, sexual harassment, sex discrimination and detriment due to protected disclosure.
Her case came before the London Central Employment Tribunal last month. Ms Lokhova gave evidence at the Tribunal that colleagues had referred to her as “mad Svetlana” and that she was “crazy”, “mental” and a “major car crash”. She also provided evidence that a colleague of hers, Mr Stiskin, had emailed a colleague of hers the day before she resigned stating that she should visit “a few tribe leaders in Nigeria… proper alpha male… she needs to relax after the stressful period of the past months. These guys would help.” As well as this email, she used comments by her line manager, Mr Longmuir, towards her (including his referral to her as “Miss Bonkers”) and the failure of the head of the London office, Mr Zaniboni, to investigate or take any disciplinary action as evidence of a culture of discrimination at the bank.
The Employment Tribunal ruled in favour of Ms Lokhova in her claims for constructive dismissal, sexual harassment and victimization. It is believed that a further remedies hearing will be held to determine compensation, with a number of media outlets estimating that compensation in the case may reach into the millions of pounds.