Tuesday 3 December 2019 4:52 pm

City of London Corporation puts up posters in City pubs in bid to combat sexual harassment

The City of London Corporation is set to be the latest square mile institution to campaign against sexual harassment in the financial industry.

The Reframe the Night Campaign will feature 600 posters at various City venues that are adorned with phrases traditionally used to excuse sexual harassment.

Read more: Lloyd’s of London to put up posters in City pubs in a bid to tackle sexual harassment

Hackney Council are co-partnering the initiative and have put up the posters around its borough.

One poster reads: “If you go out dressed like that, what do you expect?”

While another says: “They were wasted! They didn’t know what they were doing.”

The City of London campaign insists that people who speak up will “always be believed and supported.

Doug Barrow, chairman of the City of London’s safer city partnerships strategy group, said: “Sexual harassment is completely unacceptable in the City or anywhere else.

“Many people affected by sexual violence blame themselves and question whether they could have done something differently to prevent the incident from occurring. These views are reinforced within society by myths and beliefs about sexual harassment.”

There will be 600 posters around City of London venues. Image credit: City of London Corporation

The messaging comes alongside a similar campaign by Lloyd’s of London, which features posters in City pubs calling for people to “speak up against against unacceptable behaviour”.

LLoyd’s is one of a number of square mile institutions to have recently been dogged by allegations of entrenched misogyny and sexual harassment.

A survey by Lloyd’s revealed 500 people – 8 per cent of total workers at the building – had experienced or seen sexual harassment at the insurance marketplace in the past year.

Big-four accounting firms KPMG and Deloitte have also been hit with allegations of bullying and sexual harassment in the past year.

Meanwhile, the London branch of French bank BNP Paribas was recently successfully sued by Stacey Macken on the grounds of sexual discrimination. 

Macken raised the case in the sum of £4m, however the courts have not made a ruling on final compensation as of yet.

Clare Murray, founder of employment firm CM Murray, said misogyny and sexual harassment were endemic in the City.

“It is an institutional problem that is hard-baked into the culture of many businesses in the City, and extends not only to sexual harassment and bullying but also to discrimination in recruitment promotion and pay for women,” she said.

“It is often enabled or exacerbated by an imbalance of power, an excess of alcohol, workplace stress and actual or perceived job insecurity of many female workers.”

Read more: Junior lawyer felt ‘cast aside’ by Baker McKenzie after alleged sexual harassment

Chief executive of Women in the City Gwen Rhys said: “Many City organisations continue to have macho, testosterone fuelled, cultures and women experience sexual harassment and micro-aggression on a  regular basis during the working day. 

“It’s not surprising that this spills onto the streets and into wine bars,  pubs and other social venues.”