back to article Splunk sales ace wins sex discrimination case after new boss handed her key accounts to blokes deemed 'flight risks'

A Splunk saleswoman who brought in eight-figure deals has won a sex discrimination lawsuit against the data analytics 'n' SIEM vendor after she was "pushed aside for the old boys' network". Nadine Lee left the US-headquartered company shortly after taking a six-month sabbatical – during which her key accounts were stripped …

  1. Youngone Silver badge


    Splunk spokesman Alex Harking claimed in a one-line statement to The Register that the company "does not tolerate discrimination in any form",

    The judge thinks you do mate.

    "We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment."

    Well, not that inclusive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh?

      The company "does not tolerate discrimination in any form", we will fix it by being horrible to discrimination victims so they quit the company; that removes the discrimination.

      "We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment", one that includes the old boys club and not any women.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        one that includes the old boys club and not any women

        I didn't realize that Julie Ward was a guy's name.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: one that includes the old boys club and not any women

          She's HR, not sales.

    2. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Oh?

      "We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment."

      Yes, so long as you are male and and being white probably helps.

      How the hell does the likes of Steven Gracey get to the top of these companies?

      Surely someone must have spotted what a complete arse he was. Or is that the reason. Like attracting like.

      1. RM Myers

        Re: Oh?

        Since one of the males given her accounts was named Raj Dosanjh, I'm not sure about the "white" part. The rest of your comment is spot on, though.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Oh?

          >>>Raj Dosanjh, a former colleague of Gracey's<<<

          Sounds like new senior manager helping his friends (whom he recruited?) onto the gravy train by bunging them the best accounts with no other considerations.

          As for flight risk, any good manager would have considered Lee to be potentially an expensive flight risk seeing as she was on a sabbatical having reeled in a multi £M catch (certainly worth upping her basic). New hires with nothing to show yet have to prove they're worth keeping unless they also have a cast iron history of bringing in big accounts, in which case give them the leads that will actually grow sales.

        2. jellyplate

          Re: Oh?

          He's adopted.

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Oh?

        "How the hell does the likes of Steven Gracey get to the top of these companies?"

        Have you . . . have you met high-ranking tech salescritters? The only value they provide in society is deep customer acquisition spending accounts (i.e. paying for endless high-end single malts and fancy steak dinners) and, once the spending account is dry, feeding the pigs.

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Oh?

          This is a self-perpetuating cycle where there sroats get hired and then hire more of the same. The attitude can generally go right to the top (though often hidden out of sight) as it is a cultural thing. You see the same people going round the circuit causing mayhem but generally getting out and moving on before then have been uncovered for what they are.

          Hopefully Splunk will get chopping and remove some of these individuals from the payroll. I don't have a great deal of confidence in that as these types are very good at looking after number 1.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Oh?

            "Hopefully Splunk will get chopping and remove some of these individuals from the payroll. I don't have a great deal of confidence in that as these types are very good at looking after number 1."

            Well, yes. They are sales people. The primary product they are selling is themselves. Selling actual product is secondary, no matter how they do it or at what cost, Then they sell themselves to the next sucker company before the previous one realises what deals were actually made.

      3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: Oh?

        She went on “sabbatical” for 6 months so someone had to look after the accounts, did they?

        And “flight risk” is exactly what explains higher salary and getting better treatment - if the management perceives you as someone who can leave they will pay you more and give you better bits of the business. In any job

        As for “white” - that was just stupid. A person with name Raj is probably Indian.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Oh?

          "A person with name Raj is probably Indian."

          Oh stop it... You've now made me wonder what a Bollywood Blake's 7 would have been like.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Oh?

            Servalan & Avon doing dance routines...

            The teleport bangles would be glitzy...

        2. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: flight risk

          They pushed her out to prevent people leaving? Yeah, that's the kind of logic they were using.

        3. nematoad Silver badge

          Re: Oh?

          "As for “white” - that was just stupid."

          Ah, thanks for that.

          If you had taken the time to parse what I actually said, it was "probably."

          Make sure mind is in gear before engaging mouth.

        4. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

          Re: Oh?

          If flight risk justifies that, what about lawsuit risk? Sounds like her manager was terrible at risk management.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Oh?

      "Well, not that inclusive."

      I don't know. They seem to recruit a lot of complete Tools.

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Oh?

      > The judge thinks you do mate.

      Some judges would react to that kind of press release by calling the people in question back into the courtroom and ripping them a new one before forcing them to issue a retraction/grovelling apology

      I'm minded of at least one case I'm aware of where a judge found that a company had deliberately engaged in illegal activities and issued fines - which were recalled and increased substantially when the company issued press releases trying to make out that it had all been an innocent mistake

  2. EveryTime

    > Splunk spokesman Alex Harking claimed in a one-line statement to The Register that the company "does not tolerate discrimination in any form", adding: "We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment."

    I'm a fan of Splunk, but the next time you see a statement from them remember that they are empty words.

    You can say "we disagree with the tribunal and will be appealing", or "we are disappointed in the ruling" or "we are reviewing the decision to plan a constructive path forward".

    Saying 'none of our internal rules or policies were broken' after a ruling that they broke the law suggests that they are fostering an inclusive environment for sociopaths.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      "they are fostering an inclusive environment for sociopaths."

      Yes: technology sales management, three words which, when used together, should prompt the listener to watch his or her back and wallet and have a clear path to an escape route.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "... suggests that they are fostering an inclusive environment for sociopaths."

      and also suggest that potential clients would be advised to steer clear.

      I had been looking at them for some stuff. Not anymore

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    if only...

    ...there was a program you could run through your HR databases to pick up obvious data like this.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: if only...

      Megan's Law?

  4. Terry 6 Silver badge

    We are committed to keeping our stable doors bolted- and do not tolerate letting horses wander out onto the motorway in the rush hour. It was just unfortunate about that one

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No wonder Splunk is so bloody expensive if they are paying sales people £744k!

    1. pmelon

      Indeed. Use it all the time, got the certs, value it but I’d question whether it’s really worth the exorbitant costs. Those figures are amazing.

      ELK comes without cost, a support team or sales people if you choose. Speaking as a Splunk admin, that option is getting more and more interesting!

    2. dinsdale54

      Companies typically allocate a percentage of the revenue of the company to pay for selling it. It makes up much of the SG&A expenses on the balance sheet. A sales rep will typically have a base salary, a sales target - for example - $5 million and an OTE - what you make if you hit your target.

      Once you have achieved your sales target you have in theory covered your costs in the company so commission rates normally jump. At my last place all sales over 120% of target were paid at 3x commission rate. So sell double or triple your target and you will vastly more than your base salary.

      This is why people go in to sales. Being smart is not a requirement - merely a bonus. The one thing all the successful salesfolk I worked with had in common is they were highly motivated and not afraid of a days work.

  6. earl grey

    I see pants on fire here

    Unfortunately, it will only be a minor monetary hit it the pocket and no one will be in the stocks.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn The New Guy

    The new guy should be forced to leave with no compensation.

    The UK should stop this from happening with the punishment of mandatory dismissal for theses managers

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Damn The New Guy

      Erm... persondatory dismissal for these peronagers, TYVM.

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        "Erm... persondatory dismissal"

        Is that a pun? Have no fear, brave Reg readers - the Humourless Etymology Pedant is here!

        The "man" in "mandate" isn't a gender reference; it comes from the Latin "manus", meaning "hand". The other half is from "dare", "to put". So "mandated" means "put into your hands" - something you are given, but not given a choice about accepting.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Erm... persondatory dismissal"

          Jedit, Have an Upvote for the information you have provided but a Downvote for completely missing the humour - "[...] sales ace wins ***SEX DISCRIMINATION CASE*** […]" - you cannot get much more discriminatory than having 'man' in a word.

          You cannot let a little thing like logic, reason or common sense get in the way of social reform, y'know! We will have an end to ALL discrimination if we have to stamp out the entirety of white history and any mention of the words 'man', 'men', or 'male' anywhere they appear...

          1. Hollerithevo

            Re: "Erm... persondatory dismissal"

            In a news story where a hugely successful woman who was adding £££ to her company gets treated like sh*t so a new manager can bring his boys in -- to the detriment of the company -- and you jump to "stamp out the entirety of white history and any mention of the words 'man, 'men', or 'male' anywhere they appear"

            You went from zero to sixty pretty fast, considering that this story demonstrates that the system works pretty well: males given preference (and some of them white) and the non-male actively sidelined and effectively demoted. I suppose the female in question taking them to court is part of the feminazi take-over of everything.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Erm... persondatory dismissal"

              Actually, I was taking the p*** out of the current "anti-discrimination" furore that wants to ban anything that doesn't promote black participation (even when the people involved were exclusively white Europeans), demands all white people everywhere should apologise for having white skin, etc

              I had hoped the "We will end discrimination if we have to (discriminate against these groups)" might have made that obvious, but I guess not. Next time, I'll try to make it more obvious.

  8. xyz

    Bring on the zombies...

    Between the US wanting to create AI controlled drone swarms (Terminator) and Russia coming up with an untested vaccine against a planetary plague (Legend) in some sort of cock waving contest, 2020 was turning out weird. The (somehow this is) news that Biden now has a non-white (shock) woman (horror) running mate just shows how 19th century we actually are. No wonder blokes still try this macho crap on. I'm disgusted.

    1. Ozumo

      Re: Bring on the zombies...

      Surely the drone swarms is more "Screamers"?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sex discrimination or just bad management?

    Several things seem to scream of bad management:

    1. A six month sabbatical with no downside

    Agreeing to a six month sabbatical itself shows an extraordinary valuation of the individual concenred. That is 6 months without your top sale person on your key customer accounts. The problem and it is a big problem is who will handle her clients/accounts while she is on sabbatical and how will they be regarded/incentivised?

    2. Agreements with a manager are repudiated when a new manager replaces him.

    This is what is really going on forget sex discrimination. A new manager comes on board, she has never worked for him or delivered anything for him and he has key accounts which need to be serviced. Nobody wants to work on an account where the reward for their hardwork will be reaped by someone returning from an extended holiday. Even if they arewilling to work on the accounts these are key accounst and need to perform well and not treated as an after thought/burden because the rewards are going to go elsewhere. He has inheritted a difficult to solve mess and as a new manager can't call in favours from staff. He should find a solution that honours agreements previously made and motivates temporaily assigned sales staff but the tempting solution is to simply ignore the agreememt and handle things as makes sense if it did not exist and woryy about the consequence slater.

    This was inevitable as soon as the sabbatical was agreed and the previous manager was replaced and would have happened whateve rthe sex of the sales person. Companies should honour agreements so it is right that she wins the case but wheover agreed to the sabbatical deal was responsible in my opinion. They created a huge problem which was going to give problems whatever was done. If she really wanted that sabbatical she should have been told she had to accept she would lose some accounts and would need to work to regain them or equivalent accounts.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

      No. Blame lands firmly with the new manager.

      First, sabbaticals are a form of compensation, and for senior staff who rarely get to use scheduled calendar leave without interruption, they can be the only real form of leave available. As a form of compensation, they must have no downside. Your employer doesn't say "here's a bonus, but we're stealing your monitors". If your situation of employment leads you to think that asking for extended leave and being granted it will hurt you professionally, you need to find a new job.

      Second, it's a very poor manager who takes over a new position without first determining who's good and who needs improvement. Having a top performer on sabbatical isn't a disaster: it opens up opportunities to advance existing staff. What it doesn't do is give you carte blanche to hire in your old chums instead. That's bad management. (My own rule of thumb is that the quality of a manager is inversely proportional to the number of hangers-on they bring along with them in each role).

      The sexual discrimination was in paying the new, untried buddies more in basic wages and OTE than the proven successful female employee. There's no ifs and buts about that.

      The constructive dismissal was refusing to return the top contracts to the higher-performing agent on her return, instead leaving them with the manager's friends who (we must assume, as it was not put forward as a defence) were not managing them as successfully as she had. Or, in other words, creating a situation where the employee feels they have no other option but to resign.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

        Sex discrimination? The logic seems to be if an employee is treated badly and she is a woman then it must be sex discrimination.

        The key factors seem to be:

        1.She agreed a sabbatical and thsi would not affetc her accounst with her previous manager

        2.She was on sabbatical when a new manager took over

        3. The new manager was familiar and had confidence in the new sales people who gained her key accounts.

        Would the same thing have hapened if she had been a man? That is impossibel to detrmine for sure but given the facts above it seems very likely it would.

        Why invoke sexism, people behave badly without it but attributing every injury to a woman by a man

        to sexism is itself deeply sexist and gives a distorted picture of the world.

        Yes she should get an award for constructive dismissal but there is no reason to think it was sexism from the account given.

        1. DF118

          Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

          Right enough, if I'd come out with that level of sub-literate illogical drivel I'd have ticked 'post anonymously' too.

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

            I'm willing to put my name to an admission of confusion that this was deemed sexual discrimination.

            That doesn't mean that there wasn't any, but the write up includes gems such as, "We find it hard to imagine that a high earning male sales representative would have been treated in this way" without any explanation of why, or "In terms of language, we find the term ‘hand-holding’ belittling. Although it is conceivably possible that such a term would be used about a man, in our experience, it is one that

            is far more frequently used of a woman."

            So basically the judges are using their own gender bias to ascribe gender motives to the respondents, and using that to find against them.

            Was it bad management? Yes. Was there a discrepancy in pay? Yes. Was it constructive dismissal? I think so. Was there any actual fucking evidence that there was sex discrimination? I don't know, which also tells you that I haven't actually found any.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

              @cedric if you want to spout, read before spouting


              It is a good read, and shows the thinking of the tribunal.

              The screaming finding for gender discrimination, to me, is the hiring of Raj Dosanjh, who was given a greater base pay and OTE than her, for the *same* accounts she had. No independent or documented interviews.

              And as if that wasn't enough, it is made worse by the fact the accounts transferred were amongst the best accounts, that she had won to begin with. Raj Dosanjh did not bring in new business with his hiring.

              The other was that *all* the accounts with good potential were given to others, inspite of her experience and history with the company. They made no attempt to involve her during account reallocations, Gracey allocated all the good accounts to his buddies, who were of equivalent experience as her, and were paid more for bringing in less revenue. She was accessible by email, and it was known to all parties. Only when she raised a formal grievance appeal did they offer a reasonable account BQ, reinfocing the evidence of bias. They did not offer this when she first complained.

              As the star performer Lee established the precedent salary benchmark for a top performer.

              She was President's Club for five years, and in President's club diamond status. They made unique recognition efforts indicating her unique contribution versus peers.

              Actual email sent by HR Julie Ward asking to hide evidence and that the game is afoot with Lee.

              ‘I agree. I think the game begins. Suggest you just have some bullet points and close it down as we are not going to change and provide her with the award. However just as a quick fyi I think she may start to fight re the account change and this award etc so we should not put anything down in email with her name in it as she can easily request the data subject access. Unless it is work related

              etc or specific confirmation or feedback which is going to her.’

              Gracey and Ward's choice of words in email show a concious arrangement to get Gracey's buddies the accounts, and hide this from her, which showed they knew they were being unfair to Nadine Lee.

              They have never treated a male employee with a near $1 million earning this way historically.

              This is unconcious bias, the evidence typically will be in choice of words and actions, such as the "she needs hand holding" comment yet giving her ~$1million, a rolex and 6 months loa.

              How many employees needing hand holding have you seen get rewarded like this? It implies the term is a perceptive bias. But Raj and Laws can fly to the moon on a paper plane.

              They claimed she was a flight risk, so transferred out her accounts, to give it to other guys because, yeah you guessed it, the men were a flight risk, and need encouragement to stay.

              The one thing they didn't "man up" on was to have the balls to discuss with her - this is also subconcious bias IMO.

              If your point is that there is no evidence of *concious* sex/gender discrimination I'd agree. But this reeks out of every orifice of unconcious and subconcious gender bias.

              1. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                Who is this 'cedric' and why are you writing to him?

                As for the PDF you linked, where do you think the two sentences I quoted came from.

                Conscious or unconscious, I like to see actual evidence that there was bias. "She's a woman so there was unconscious bias" might get you an A in your Gender Studies class but if that's how employment tribunals are going to be run then they'll lose all credibility.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                  @cederic the tribunal was run well, you aren’t bothered to read it, you’re just commenting not good enough but failing to address anything specific.

                  let’s keep the question precise - for subconscious gender bias, what minimum evidence would you accept?

                  Or are you the sort of person who says that a rape didn’t happen if there is no dna?

                  1. Cederic Silver badge

                    Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                    "We think this term is belittling and wouldn't be used against men" is not evidence. It's bias, and not by the respondents. You'll have to forgive me for hoping that there's stronger evidence available.

                    Perhaps you'd be kind enough to help me understand the actual evidence that the tribunal used to determine that sex discrimination had occurred?

                    Let's discuss your interest in rape another time.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                      here are the findings

                      The respondent's primary answer for their behaviour was that (1) she was a sub-standard performer (2) she was leaving to work on an app

                      * Despite being the top earner, she was characterised as needing "hand-holding", but only after the complaint was made. Prior to the complaint, internal documents indicated she was a flight risk.

                      * All internal actions prior to the complaint show encouragement and rewards towards her. The "hand holding" description was not applied to other sales managers, who brought in less than her and also approached senior management for securing deals. The tribunal found that bringing in senior leadership to major customers was not uncommon in winning large/major contracts, and was done on other occasions by other employees. This "hand-holding" description was applied despite her winning the biggest accounts, (you could make the point that therefore the male sales managers also needed "hand-holding" as they were bringing in less revenue, but the tribunal did not make this finding). Only she was described as having this detriment. There was no supporting evidence provided as to why only she was characterised so, and as to why this description was disconnected with the revenue numbers she brought in. This detriment was never communicated to her. The described behaviours applied to her were specific, despite her behaviours being shared with other sales managers.

                      * When redistributing accounts, only she was given accounts of lower earning potential. Gracey already had known that the forecasted projections were amongst the lowest in their system (Salesforce and one more tool) The higher forecasted accounts, including her own older ones, were given to other sales managers, including existing ones not hired by Gracey. This is in spite of her being engaged in discussions over allocation at the time.

                      * These accounts were given to others because they were a flight risk, but the reason they did not want to give to her was that she was a flight risk. So same reason, but a different action only for this employee.

                      * They were aware that she would not be happy of not being told of the reallocations as that was the working assumption she was given when she left. When the discussions were occurring, she was singled out in not being engaged with. This was despite here responding to emails and communications on holiday.

                      * all these reallocations happened despite no material change occurring at the customer sides. The respondent claims there were but cannot provide any evidence of this. instead, in contrast, there is evidence of ongoing enagagement with her during her leave.

                      * When she was engaged for a resolution once she found out, they made no attempt to correct the situation. When the grievance was raised, the finding was to engage urgently.

                      When the grievance appeal was made, did they offer the bq account of reasonable potential. This account was available for disbursement prior to the grievance, however, was not offered to her despite her having the required skills and communicated that she wished for it. There are no compelling change or factor other than her complaint for her to be offered BQ. No explanation was offered by the respondent as to why BQ was considered suitable after the grievance but not before.

                      The employee was singled out - * in the description of behaviours and weaknesses that did not match their actions in remunerations and awards * in the disbursement of accounts both with new crony hires as well as the existing team * the account of potential was only given after the specific claim of gender discrimination was made, even though it was available all along * a pay disparity existed

                      Gracey had an opinion she was not good enough but was unable to show the tribunal why he had that view of only her. Note that he engaged with other members of the old team, only she was singled out.

                      And if he was committed to that view, why did he not ask for here to be put on a performance improvement plan. Instead after the complaint, he was willing to give a high-value account BQ to her, which contradicts the claim in his belief she was not good.

                      So all things being the same with the new crony hires and the old team, the difference left is her gender.

                      I think what you are really saying is that you do not accept a finding by elimination. here is an employee, indistinguishable in sales numbers, skills, experience and availability, yet is treated differently. You say that despite the difference being gender, it is not enough, because there are no controls. Even if the respondent offers no other explanation.

                      If you want to say that only discrimination has been conclusively proven here but gender discrimination cannot be proven as the IT population does not have a 50-50 split on gender yet, I guess I could be convinced that as a topic for further discussion. It might have been their fear of spectacle wearers as to why they singled her out. But then I expect them to offer this explanation on the cross to the tribunal.

                      Which is why I keep asking you cederic, in a hypothetical case, what evidence would you accept - but you keep sidestepping that question without giving any answer?

                      I'm only left to believe there is no evidence possible to satisfy you, and that you are really basically saying unconscious gender discrimination is never provable until there is a 50-50 split in gender distribution in all aspects of work and life, and until then this form of discrimination can never find justice.

                      However, on that front I am against gender quotes, only equal opportunity access for equal effort to both genders. I do not believe in enforced gender distributions. I'd want all barriers to be removed, not target quotas, but target barrier removals.

                      But this sort of hampering that keeps the gender distribution skewed for even the capable is wrong, and has happened here - they got rid of the one woman on the team, who happened also to be the most capable one at the time.

                      1. Cederic Silver badge

                        Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                        you do not accept a finding by elimination

                        You've provided evidence of nothing that would support a claim of sex discrimination. She claimed racial discrimination too but that was found not to be true because.. there was no evidence of racial discrimination.

                        Just because there isn't evidence of non-sex-discrimination doesn't mean that a lack of evidence for sex discrimination means there's been sex discrimination. This ruling stinks.

                        there is no evidence possible to satisfy you, and that you are really basically saying

                        Please, stop making things up.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                          Yet in spite of three comments, you STILL do not give any example of what your standard of acceptable evidence would look like.

                          You might as well believe that a unicorn is the only acceptable evidence.

                          You only have an opinion without an answer.

                          Opinions and assholes as the saying goes - worthless on their own.

                          1. Cederic Silver badge

                            Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                            Yet in spite of many comments, you STILL do not give any actual evidence.

                            My standard of acceptable evidence? Evidence.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?


                              liar I did, I gave what I and the tribunal considered evidence, you just dismiss it as "not evidence".

                              So I follow to ask you what your example evidence would look like - hyopthetically. You utterly avoid answering this, responding with deflections

                              You make no attempt to explain your thinking. You act as judge, juror and executive passing judgements and pronouncements as not evidence with no justification as to whether your standards are reasonable or even a possible standard in practice.

                              I can only therefore conclude this is because you actually have no answer.

                              You don't even know what the evidence that you would accept would look like.

                              This means this being insufficient evidence is just in your head, there isn't actually any point to this discussion.

                              You haven't come up with a solution, even tough you think there is an injustice, you just want shit "not good enough" and run away.

                              That is completely unintersting as to where you want to shit and run away. Just shit somewhere else.

                              1. Cederic Silver badge

                                Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                                liar I did, I gave what I and the tribunal considered evidence, you just dismiss it as "not evidence".

                                Nothing you quoted referenced actions taken (or not taken) because of the sex of the individuals involved. Nothing. None of it. Not a single bit.

                                Too right I dismiss it as 'not evidence' of sex discrimination.

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                                  You don't even know what the evidence that you would accept would look like.

                  2. Juillen 1

                    Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

                    Hard evidence is what's required. I.e evidence that points specifically to this being the only possible cause, and not explained by either innocuous and legal means, or other (illegal) means with which there is direct evidence.

                    The evidence shows cronyism and corruption (hiring of chums from outside, pretty much immediately marking them as 'flight risk', so giving them a good retention bonus to their pay, and giving them all the nice accounts to make them look good).

                    As the top salesperson in question had curated and presumably developed the top accounts, those were the juicy ones that were wanted to be given to the chums. Easy target as she wasn't around to fight the cases.

                    All of that is proof of cronyism and corruption, cut and dried.

                    Now, on top of this, there is the claim "this would only happen because said person is a woman", which is the key for this being sexual discrimination. There is no evidence of this, merely subjective opinion.

                    And where on earth did this appeal to emotion/red herring come from? It's absolutely irrelevant and makes you look like a turnip.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?


              concious gender bias is less now, you need to watch columbo episodes from the 70s to see what it was like.

              But unconcious bias is rampant.

              So to posit your point differently, what would be the evidence acceptable to you of unconcious and subconcious gender bias?

        2. Hollerithevo

          Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

          If the person in question had been a man, he would have been able to take them to court over constructive dismissal. But if you can throw something else in that looks like it was some part of the motivation (here, I suspect a large part), you use it, just as the person, if not white, might have been able to bring in racial discrimination had the new kids been all white, or perhaps 'ok' non-white (I am thinking Asian, because our world is just that charming).

          The manager is clearly a creep, so assuming he is a sexist creep and assuming that a lot of his belittling actions stem from that as well as his creepyhood is probably a good bed. Because various forms of creepiness tend to cluster.

        3. Kibble 2

          Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

          I suspect you may have overlooked the fact that Nadine was being paid a smaller basic than the guy who had been given her acct. (Both had the same seniority.) However we don't know why she had taken her 6 month sabbatical. Perhaps it was to have a baby. You can draw your own conclusions, but I still think that it's a case of sex discrimination.

          1. Juillen 1

            Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

            You think. That is not evidence, nor admissible in a court of law.

            1: New manager appears

            2: New manager brings in old colleagues from elsewhere

            3: New manager labels old chums 'flight risk' to get them a nice "friends and family" pay deal.

            4: New manager breaks deals and gives chums the nice accounts to make them look good.

            There is no logical causative factor to say that the fact this top seller was a woman was in any way causative. If a woman had come in and done this with female sellers, it would probably have been either ignored (lack of causative evidence), or heralded as a great step forward in equality (for those who wanted to shout about it).

            So, constructive dismissal. Definitely. Incedibly bad management, definitely. Cronyism and corruption. Assuredly. These are things that should have that new manager out of the door post haste, and with a bad mark on his record that would make anyone think 50 times about hiring him before finally signing up someone else.

            Nothing in there is evidence of sexual discrimination. The fact the salaries were higher happens frequently when you mark people as "flight risk" and have them on retention bonuses.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?


          According to the new guy,

          As she was a flight risk, they needed to move her accounts to other employees. Because she was the top performer, it was also the company's best accounts.

          Why were those other employees needing more accounts? Because they were a flight risk and needed encoragement to stay, and wanted bigger accounts to beat OTE.

          Why the employee was picked for constructive dismissal is the point you are rather conveniently glossing over.

          What's different between her request and the other employee requests if according to you the mgmt is bad to all employees equally? Why wasn't everyone in the company's existing team constructively dismissed for asking for better accounts? (Note that this includes othes hired by the previous manager)

          If you do not belive in checking and weeding out subconcious prejudice, then you are part of the problem.

          Or put another way, what is your accepted burden of proof for this? If you assumed this is sex/gender discrimination, what minimum evidence would your criteria be?

          If a manager came and gave all the women in your office all the bonuses, you'd just call it bad management?

        5. Dagg

          Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

          She agreed a sabbatical

          Sometimes you have no choice! I have been in the position where I have had a large accumulate leave balance and was told I had to take it as they would not pay me out.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Sex discrimination or just bad management?

        My own rule of thumb is that the quality of a manager is inversely proportional to the number of hangers-on they bring along with them in each role Interestingly, this works for schools too.

        New head arrives in successful school. Unhappy senior staff leave soon after. New head's cronies take their places, magically and repeatedly all being the "best candidate" in a supposedly equal ops application interview. (Obviously just a coincidence).

        School goes rapidly down hill. Seen it often.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair: at least they admit that salespeople hit their targets by jealousy guarding key accounts...

    ...who would buy anyway...

    ...and can’t sell anything to a “string of low value accounts”.

    1. BigSLitleP

      Rubbish. She probably brought in those accounts in the first place.

      1. Kibble 2


        Not that I would argue the point that she may have brought in the accts, but that wasn't pointed out in the article.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rubbish

          The problem with many of the comments finding the judgment illogical is that they haven;t actually bothered to read the judgement.

          If it was a female manager that came in and hired her girlfriends and gave them all the opportunities for the bonuses, pushing all the men to just base pay, I highly doubt there would be as many comments calling it just bad management. After all the female manager didn;t conciously ignore the men right?

          What they're really claiming is that since it is not happening in the majority it musn't be happening at all.

          The judgement is a sound methodolgy for subconcous bias. It is why they did not equally find for racial bias here but that is an inconvenient truth for the bad management commentards.

  11. Wilco

    Evil HR scum get away scott free again

    "The tribunal did not uphold Lee's claim that Splunk HR business partner Julie Ward had actively discriminated against her on the grounds of her sex, though Ward played a key role in the events leading to her resignation"

    Another morally bankrupt HR department who either don't understand or don't care about right and wrong. And don't give a sh1t about the "resources" they are supposed to manage.

    1. Hollerithevo

      Re: Evil HR scum get away scott free again

      Totally agree, and yet they tend to slide out of any punishment, because (as I learned very easy in my career), HR is not there to do anything but make things easy for the company and especially its top brass. Once I understood that they had zero interest in the employees per se, I never ever went to them about anything. If unhappy, i simply found a new job.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Now will she really rub salt in the wound by joining a competitor, calling on all her old contacts and nicking the accounts?

    1. Hollerithevo

      I'd move

      If i trusted her and thought she would deliver on her promises, which I guess she did, given her success, then yes, if she went to a competitor and could persuade me that they were as good or better, yeah.

      Also, I would have trouble continuing to work with a company that allowed this situation to happen. If the top brass did not notice that a star salesperson was suddenly eclipsed, I would find out why. Before it went to court and made my company look like a dick.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      bankrupt in so many ways

      I think for these cloudy SaaS businesses, once you get the sale, the vendor lockin is strong.

      So changing the lead, who won the sale and got the company in the door, is particularly unfair, as the successor can just cook up some new licensing SKU and make their bonus.

      And WTF Splunk HR business partner Julie Ward. Everyone knows HR works for the company, and never to help the employee, but here she fucked them both. The one thing that HR must do, if you had to pick, is to prevent a successful employee tribunal case. And an employee winning one of those is already difficult as the bar is high. I mean talk about incompetent HR.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: bankrupt in so many ways

        it's an incestous outfit - UK sales director Steven Gracey, HR business partner Julie Ward, UK area vice president Alan Banks, sales guy Raj Dosanjh - all interlinked from Adobe.

        This cartel didn't just screw Lee, they screwed their employer Splunk too.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just sayin....

    Fact: The tech industry is male dominated. We can debate right or wrong, better or worse, etc. However as of today that is the nature of the industry.

    Truth: I have worked with some very successful sales women in the tech industry. They are blood thirsty sharks. When it comes time to ask for the sale, they have a "closing skirt" and a "closing blouse" they wear. The male techies cannot sign the purchase order quick enough.

    Credit to them if that is how they win the business. Just don't think sex & gender is a one-way street. In some situations it has its advantages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just sayin....

      >> Credit to them if that is how they win the business.

      I'm not sure I get your point - how is it different from the lads going to a strip club or hiring hookers to win business?

      Do you only go tsk-tsk for blouses and skirts?

      Why do "they" have a different standard to get credit?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just sayin....

        Because strip clubs & hookers are (for the most part) against company conduct standards. The days of being able to expense such activity on a corporate Amex are long gone.

        Dressing attractively yet professionally, that is fair game. Bring a box of donuts to the customer along with a pretty smile, and the geeks will be speechless.

        The nature of sales is to know the customer and be able to market products to them. Just because the customer is distracted by the shiny object doesn't mean the sales process is wrong.

        Not a tsk-tsk. My point is for some women who are selling to this industry, they can use gender to their advantage.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >> The days of being able to expense such activity on a corporate Amex are long gone.

    OK OK, no strip clubs - all-inclusive overnight yacht "cruise" :)

  15. Mary7

    Old Boy Club, Stop ur evilness like bullying and maltreating those capable and uprigt employees!

    May Judge Lewis be blessed for this just judgment of this bullied and maltreated Nadie, not for her errors but for her excellent jobs. What a sour and disgusting working environment this is! Now in many working places, many unqualified for both capacity and morality have beem employed and those good at the both refused and misjudged. If the persons like Old-Boy-Clubs have been spread out everywhere, more poisonous that Covid-19? May them repent asap and apologize for their intentional doing wrong to the qualified and supporting the unqualified with unable-to uncoverring because the reason is evil and shameful!

    Old Boy Club, Stop ur evilness like bullying and maltreating those capable and upright employees!

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