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MPs to question Harman in sex in the City hearing

Sexism in the City will be in the spotlight once again today when the Treasury Committee continues to take evidence for a new inquiry into the treatment of women in the Square Mile. <br /><br />Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman is scheduled to speak as well as Sarah McCarthy-Fry, exchequer secretary for the Treasury and Trevor Phillips chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.<br /><br />The inquiry will look at the proportion of women occupying senior positions in major financial institutions and as well as the prevalence of sexual harassment and exploitation.<br /><br />The evidence session follows on from last week when one of the wealthiest women in the City told MPs that employers should cut maternity leave and ban excessive payouts in sex discrimination settlements.<br /><br />Nichola Pease, who along with her husband Crispin Odey is estimated to be worth &pound;204m, argued that &ldquo;red tape&rdquo; designed to protect women&rsquo;s rights has in fact&nbsp; had the opposite effect &ndash; making some City firms believe that hiring a woman is too costly. Currently just 11.7 per cent of FTSE 100 company directors are women, according to equal pay lobby group the Fawcett Society. <br />