Testimony from 40 women working in the UK banking, insurance and asset management industries reveals that diversity and inclusion efforts are often “fake” and that they are “the teeth” of bringing about change in an industry where misogynistic attitudes persist. ” is said to be missing.
The outline of a closed-door roundtable held with MPs in November 2023, ahead of the final meeting of a parliamentary inquiry into the extent of gender discrimination in the City of London, was published on Wednesday. Leaders from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority spoke about the issue and the regulator's proposals to increase diversity and inclusion within firms.
When it comes to how to address disparities, such as collecting data on women's representation, “it's not entirely easy to make progress in these areas,” said Vicki Saporta, PRA's executive director of prudential policy. Ta. “Even if your intentions are very good and you are completely devoted.”
Harassment of women in financial services spills over into other industries: Aviva CEO Blanc
Roundtable attendees said broader societal changes have had little impact on the financial world since the #MeToo movement, which brought sexism to the fore six months ago. Although issues such as sexist “office teasing” have subsided, “misogynistic attitudes remain widespread and behavior has become even more insidious and vicious,” the testimony said. ing. Most participants had experienced sexual harassment or knew a colleague who had been sexually harassed.
The latest investigation began in 2023 following the scandal surrounding hedge fund manager Crispin O'Day and the Confederation of British Industry. The study follows a 2018 study that drew attention to the underrepresentation of women at senior levels in finance.
Testimony also stated that the company's human resources system was inadequate in responding to complaints, with attendees stating that “HR's role was clearly to protect the company rather than assist victims.'' ” he said. Little or no action was taken on most allegations of sexual misconduct, and women who reported incidents often faced repercussions, including being banned from the industry altogether. , they said. “Many felt that a woman had to be prepared to lose her career in order to come forward with a sexual harassment case,” the summary states.
FCA CEO Nikhil Rati told a parliamentary inquiry: “As FCA leaders, we can confirm that this evidence has been brought to us, and it is deeply concerning.” . “And we've spent a lot of time thinking and talking about what further steps we can take.”
Photo: City of London's financial district. Photo credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Was this article valuable?
There are other articles you may enjoy.
interested in Diversity?
Get automatic alerts on this topic.