Almost 500 employees at Lloyd’s of London have suffered or witnessed sexual harassment over the past 12 months, according to a damning survey released today.
Lloyd’s CEO John Neal described the findings as “truly terrible” as the survey, carried out by the Banking Standards Board on behalf of the insurer, found “the experience of women is much less positive than it is for men”.
With more than 6,000 respondents among Lloyd’s 45,000-strong staff, eight per cent said they had either encountered sexual harassment or observed it happening to others.
“That’s pretty stark and totally unacceptable,” Neal said, calling himself “upset and disappointed” at the survey results.
“The survey is validating in a pretty ugly way the issues that were raised six months ago.”
Lloyd’s asked the Banking Standards Board to conduct the survey after Bloomberg unearthed claims from 18 women of widespread sexual harassment earlier this year.
The harassment included inappropriate remarks to physical assault, according to Bloomberg, prompting the insurer to set up a bullying and harassment helpline in April.
The survey also found that over 20 per cent of respondents said they had witnessed colleagues ignore inappropriate behaviour. Almost a quarter said they had seen alcohol abuse in the Lloyd’s market, while others said working at their companies was hruting their health and wellbeing.
Lloyds responded by outlining actions such as a “gender balance plan” and setting new standards of conduct.