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RAF's top nurse Wendy Williams wins sexism ruling against Ministry of Defence

Group Captain brought case after being passed over for promotion in 2011 in favour of male doctor

The highest-ranking nurse in the Royal Air Force was subjected to sex discrimination by the Ministry of Defence and denied a top job for which she was more than qualified, an employment tribunal has ruled.

The tribunal found that Group Captain Wendy Williams, who has served in the RAF for 29 years, was passed over in favour of a male doctor “because of her sex”.

Gp Capt Williams, 54, from Cambridgeshire, had applied for the post of Commander of the Defence Medical Group in 2011, after a distinguished career in the RAF. The tribunal said the RAF failed to show an objective assessment of her suitability for promotion. Such an appraisal would have found her to be not only equal to the male doctor, but “the properly preferred candidate”, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which worked with Gp Capt  Williams on the case.

An RAF spokesperson said it was receiving legal advice over whether to appeal against the ruling, saying “the RAF is fully committed to the Equality Act 2010”.