Many might find it surprising that in this modern era, where great care appears to be being taken not to offend university students, and many organisations are publishing their commitment to equal opportunities and zero tolerance to harassment of all kinds as a consequence of "me too",  that the facts relating to this case should have arisen at all.  

As Head of Employment at Ince, I am only too aware of how often employers are faced with the challenge of senior employees or executives who have behaved inappropriately; however in this challenging market they are so valuable in terms of billing or profits.  Therefore, there is a difficult line to tread between disciplining the individual, and even going so far as to dismiss them, and retaining them after this process so that they carry on performing to a high level.  It is for this reason that I have titled this comment "a lucky escape". 

I think that there is no doubt that the majority of people reading the comments made by this senior lawyer, specifically "Hu She" and "Biryani", would think that they were inappropriate, and more importantly, whether they amounted to unwanted verbal behaviour in relation to someone with a protected characteristic.  What is more surprising on the face of it is that BNP Paribas decided that this did not amount to discrimination or harassment; reading between the lines the lawyer was given a disciplinary sanction of some kind but certainly was not dismissed.  Until organisations take a zero tolerance line, unfortunately this kind of behaviour in certain quarters of senior management is likely to perpetuate.