Schroders 'bullied analyst', tribunal hears

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The 33-year-old former drinks analyst was speaking on the fourth day of an eight-day hearing in East London. Bower is complaining that she suffered sex discrimination, constructive dismissal, breach of contract and unequal pay.

On seven separate occasions Bower was told to attend a personal relations management course. 'I have never had a suggestion made to me of this nature, in my entire career in the City,' she told the tribunal.

Bower argued that the matter could have been resolved if management were willing to sit down and talk to her.

The tribunal heard earlier that Bower had been described during appraisals as 'uniquely insensitive and unnecessarily combative' as well as 'lacking in interpersonal skills'.

Christopher Jeans, QC, representing Schroder Securities, added that Bower had made 'no initiatives to change the tempo of the relationship' between her and her managers and that she 'just fired off grievances every week'.

Bower responded: 'I was just trying to do my job mindful that people wanted me out of the firm.' She added: 'I felt like I'd been sent to Coventry effectively.'

She stated that her manager, Michael Crawshaw, managing director of European equity research, made it clear to her that he could 'take parts of my job from me if he chose'.

She said she was also becoming increasingly concerned because she was pregnant at the time. 'I was very concerned that as I was going to be off on maternity leave, my companies were being picked up and looked at by other analysts,' said Bower.

She also argued that one of the key members of her sales team was being forced away from the drinks department and into media, leaving her over-burdened.

The former analyst said that she resigned in October 1999 because she had been 'harassed, humiliated, publicly undermined and discriminated against'.

The hearing is expected to last until August 9.