Sunday 7 April 2019 2:24 pm

The City ‘must change everything’ to improve gender diversity, says L&G personal investing boss Helena Morrissey


Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

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The Square Mile must overhaul its entire structure in order to achieve gender diversity, according to City heavyweight Helena Morrissey.

Morrissey, head of personal investing at Legal & General (L&G), said that change is happening too slowly, and called for all processes from recruitment to performance measurement to be challenged to boost diversity.

Read more: This is Star City fund manager Helena Morrissey's new job

The former chief executive of Newton Investment Management said it is “hard to argue” that much has changed in the City’s cultural attitude towards women following scandals such as reports of sexual harassment and bullying at Lloyd’s of London.

“It is really hard to argue now that much has changed and I think everything really does have to change…for the future success of the industry, not just to be nice,” Morrissey told City A.M.

“So many women contact me each week and say ‘look this has happened to me’, whether it’s to do with their progression, harassment or not being paid as much as their colleagues.”

Read more: Helena Morrissey moves from chief exec to chair of Newton

“It is happening very slowly, waiting until there is an explosion and then you get a commitment [to change],” she said. “Everything must change if you’re serious about it.”

The call for diversity came as the latest gender pay gap data showed that the divide between men and women’s salaries widened last year, and L&G research indicated that there is also a gender savings gap, with men more likely to invest than women.

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