The amount of compensation awarded in sex discrimination cases rose 62 per cent year-on-year in 2008, according to new figures from the Equal Opportunities Review (EOR).
Statistics from the body show that over £6.5 million was paid out during the course of the year - an increase of 48 per cent on 2007's figure - with the average successful claimant receiving £17,099.
A total of 387 cases were included in the EOR survey, up from the 316 that were covered in the research from 2007, with the increase due partly to the creation of new jurisdictions.
The amount awarded for injury to feelings accounted for over one-third (34 per cent) of the total payments made, with employers paying out £2.248 million to settle such cases.
Under the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against their workers because of their gender or marital status.
This applies to areas such as pay, recruitment, training, redundancy and promotion opportunities.