A MANAGER’S ‘clumsy’ comment to a secretary that ‘women take things more emotionally than men’ will cost Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer £360,000.

BAE Systems argued the law had gone mad and attacked the payout to Marion Konczak for ‘a single sexist comment’ as ‘an affront to justice’.

But three senior judges today ruled the 62-year-old was due every penny after the manager’s comment plunged her into a mental breakdown.

BAE was working on a big project for the Royal Saudi Air Force when she complained that she had been ‘bullied and harassed, including sexually’.

But her line manager later told her that: “Women take things more emotionally than men, whilst men tend to forget things and move on.”

That proved the ‘final straw’ for Mrs Konczak who went off sick with stress from her £22,000 a year job and was dismissed in July 2007, aged 53.

She took BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd to an Employment Tribunal which upheld the single complaint of sexual discrimination relating the manager’s comment.

The Tribunal either rejected or made no finding on 15 other sex discrimination complaints, but found that her dismissal had been unfair and an act of victimisation.

After a marathon legal struggle, Mrs Konczak was awarded £360,178.60 compensation in October 2014, the payout amounting to more than 16 times her final salary.

BAE challenged the award, describing it as “grossly excessive” for what happened to her.

But her lawyers said the manager’s comment ‘pushed her over the edge’ into a psychiatric breakdown which ruined her working life.

Today three judges at the Court of Appeal in London backed Mrs Konczak and rejected BAE’s complaints.

After being told she would be sent back to work with colleagues who had mistreated her in the past, she had broken down in tears in front of her line manager.

And he made the comment, ‘in what appears to have been an attempt to express sympathy, however clumsily’, said Lord Justice Underhill.

The judge said: “The tribunal’s finding may possibly have been generous - we are not in a position to say - but it was not perverse.”

He added: “The basic rule is that a wrongdoer must take his victim as he finds him, eggshell personality and all. That is not inherently unjust”.