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Legal action from Group Captain Wendy Williams was brought after she was not picked for a promotional opportunity in July 2011.
A male doctor was chosen instead and the nurse believed she had been discriminated against when the decision was made.
Gp Capt Williams is a registered nurse and midwife and has held her current position since 2003 - but the opportunity went to Gp Capt John Gaffney, who had three and a half years less experience.
A tribunal concluded the reason the role was given to Gp Capt Gaffney was because he was a man.
Commenting on the case, the 54-year-old female nurse said: "This judgment represents an opportunity for the armed forces to scrutinise internal processes and practices and shatter glass ceilings."
A spokesperson for the RAF said it would consider appealing against the verdict.
Posted by Francesca Witney
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