An engineer suing over sex discrimination by a Sellafield contractor was told to be gentler, kinder and nicer because she is a woman, a tribunal heard.

Susan Tudor says she was forced out of a job at the nuclear plant, where she was the “only woman in a man’s world”, in 2014.

She claims her work was belittled by her immediate manager, who considered her job there to be a “waste of time”.

One colleague told her to stop giving him earache because he “got enough of that at home from his wife and daughter”, she says.

Mrs Tudor, who has been an engineer for 36 years, sued after she was sacked only 12 weeks into her job.

Her claim was initially rejected by an employment tribunal, but has now been resurrected after a judge this week allowed her appeal and ordered her case be heard again.

Judge Murray Shanks said Mrs Tudor had been employed as an agency worker at the Sellafield site by construction and engineering firm Costain Group.

However, she said her immediate manager didn’t even look at her CV and considered her role a “waste of time”.

He had never had a female engineer working for him before and regarded her work as admin, rather than an engineer’s job, the judge said.

In the weeks after she began the job, Mrs Tudor said a hostile atmosphere developed between her and her manager and colleagues.

Her personality was frequently and openly criticised and she was accused of being arrogant and aggressive, she claims.

Her manager told her she was too pushy and should be “gentler, kinder and generally nicer”, admitting later he would not have used the same words to a man.

When Mrs Tudor was sacked she was taken from the site under escort.

Costain said she had been dismissed because it was necessary to get rid of an engineer due to a lack of available work.

In her claim, Mrs Tudor complained of appallingly discriminatory treatment, suggesting the reason for the hostile atmosphere and her sacking was her gender.

The case was heard at the Manchester Employment Tribunal, and was dismissed in December 2015.

The tribunal said she had either not proven her allegations, or not convinced members that her treatment was because of her gender.

But after a challenge at the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Judge Shanks overturned the ruling and reopened Mrs Tudor’s claim.

The tribunal had failed to consider her case as rigorously as they should have, he ruled.

They had also failed to take account of the overall picture painted by the evidence.

“It does not seem to me from the judgement that factors which may have pointed towards a finding of discrimination were properly considered in assessing (the manager’s) reasons for terminating Mrs Tudor’s employment,” said the judge.

He added: “The appeal is allowed and the tribunal’s judgement must be set aside in its entirety. Regrettably, the whole case will have to be remitted to a fresh tribunal for rehearing.”