City veteran Dame Helena Morrissey has launched a rival dinner to the widely condemned Presidents Club charity fundraiser, at which a number of female waitresses were found to have been sexually harassed in an investigation earlier this week.
Morrissey, head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management, has already garnered support from names such as Schroders, M&G and Aviva to run an event which will raise money for the charities which felt compelled to give back donations from the Presidents Club.
The dinner, to be held at Mansion House, will aim to have a even attendance between men and women in contrast to the Presidents Club male-only invitation list.
“I feel very strongly that most men I work with are as keen as anyone on gender equality,” said Morrissey, who chairs pressure group The Diversity Project through which she is organising the event.
She told City A.M. that the image presented by the allegations of groping and lewd approaches by men at the Presidents Club was “absolutely not the City I recognise”.
"It would be a real shame if people extrapolated this event to paint the whole City in this light," Morrissey said.
“This is the death throes of the old regime,” she added, saying that such behaviour is no longer being tolerated in the City.
Morrissey hopes that other industries and cities around the UK would follow her lead, since she believes it is not just in financial services where such pockets of misogyny still exist.
The date of the dinner has yet to be decided, and it awaits to be seen whether it will be a recurring event.