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Tampere University to pay €100k in damages, fees for discriminating against female job applicant

The district court ruled the university discriminated against a woman for being a mother and overlooked her for a neurology professorship.

Tampereen yliopiston pääsisäänkäynti
Image: Mari Siltanen / Yle

The Pirkanmaa District Court has ordered Tampere University to pay a woman 60,000 euros in damages and 51,000 euros in legal costs for gender-based discrimination when they failed to hire her for a neurology professorship in 2016.

The court said the woman was by far the most qualified candidate for the job, although the university opted to hire a male applicant.

The court cited several events in the recruitment process that sabotaged the woman's prospects. The woman's teaching merits had been incorrectly noted, casting her in a less favourable light.

The court also found that disparaging messages sent from Tampere University Hospital pertaining to the woman's previous maternity leave hurt her standing.

In addition, the court found that the woman’s work in neurology at a top American university was not given appropriate merit.

Tampere University has denied any wrongdoing and claims the applicant’s gender was not a factor in the hiring process.

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