A LOUGHTON mum's claim that she was the victim of sexism at a City bank has been dismissed by an employment tribunal.

Anna Atkins, 52, said she was passed over for promotion at Standard Chartered because of a macho culture where meetings ended up in strip clubs.

During a six-day hearing at the London Central Employment Tribunal last month the account manager said her department was "typified by late-night drinking and cigar smoking" from which women were excluded.

A judgement issued on Monday (March 11) dismissed her three allegations of sex discrimination and six allegations of victimisation by senior executives at the bank.

Mrs Atkins, who earned up to £160,000 a year as an associate director, claimed her portfolio was reduced and she was unfairly overlooked for promotion to one of three positions as regional head during a company restructure last year.

Mrs Atkins, an Italian who had worked for the bank for 11 years, said that Christos Papadopoulous, the bank's global head of financial institutions, refused to accept a woman's view until it was confirmed by a man.

She said Mr Papadopoulous had hired David Walker-Smith as head of financial institutions to create an "aggressive macho boys culture".

She said Mr Walker-Smith did not value the contribution of women and was prepared to accommodate a man at the cost of losing a woman.

The mother-of-two said Mr Walker-Smith took the view that she needed to be less "emotional" and "more aggressive" in generating business, and that he arbitrarily awarded promotions to men.

She claimed that "a steady stream of female employees were beating a path to [the human resources department]” to complain about Mr Walker-Smith.

The tribunal said it could find no "satisfactory evidence" of a macho culture or men being favoured for promotions.

It said it did not accept that the reduction in Mrs Atkins' portfolio had damaged her career prospects.

It rejected Mrs Atkins' claim that she was never considered for promotion, and said it found "clear evidence that other women were offered positions as team leaders".

It said Mrs Atkins had "pointed to a difference in treatment and a difference in sex, but has failed to point to anything from which we could conclude that the difference could be on the grounds of her sex."