Former TalkTalk executive sues firm over gender discrimination

A former TalkTalk executive is taking the telecoms company to an Employment Tribunal after alleging she was paid 40 per cent less than male counterparts.

Rebecca Burke led TalkTalk’s new cybersecurity programme after it was dogged by a high-profile data breach in 2015.

However, the 43-year-old was made redundant from her £110,000 position just 15 months after she was appointed. During proceedings, it is reported that Ms Burke’s lawyers discovered that male colleagues in similar roles were paid up to 40 per cent more in salary and 50 per cent more in bonuses.

Speaking to the Financial Times newspaper, Ms Burke argued that she and male colleagues held the “same accountability”, the “same job descriptions” and jobs were “interchangeable”.

Suing the company for gender discrimination and unfair dismissal, Ms Burke said: “I’m keenly aware of the gender discrimination that thousands of women and girls are facing every day.

“The cost to me, my family and my friends in getting this far has been enormous. The financial expense of bringing a claim is huge. The anxiety and sleepless nights are just part of the damage to me and my family’s health and wellbeing.”

She added: “But I am totally committed to getting justice. I hope that by seeing this through I will encourage other women to do the same, and not to be deterred by the many hurdles that make the process so hard.”

Commenting on the case, a TalkTalk spokesperson said: “We strongly refute these claims and we do not tolerate gender discrimination of any sort.”

The hearing continues.