MPs are set to investigate barriers faced by women in finance, in a new probe into sexism in the City of London.
The treasury committee is calling for evidence for its inquiry into progress on ending gender pay gaps and how firms, government and regulators can tackle misogyny and harassment.
Harriett Baldwin, treasury committee chairwoman, said: “We’d like to know if women feel more supported in financial services than at the time of the previous inquiry five years ago.”
It comes after the City marked the 50 year anniversary of women being allowed onto the London Stock Exchange trading floor just a few months ago, with Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister Anneliese Dodds lauding the “trading floor trailblazers”.
MPs will explore governmental and regulatory roles as gender diversity role models and look at how they should ensure cultures and policies support women’s aspirations and progress.
‘Alpha male’ cultures?
The issue of how financial services careers should be marketed to a more diverse base of individuals will also come into the spotlight.
In 2018, the committee urged bosses to encourage women’s progression by abolishing ‘alpha-male’ culture and ending flexible working stigma, with senior men encouraged to lead by example.
But following the pandemic and the shift to working from home, many City workers are now known as T.W.A.T.s (for coming into work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays).
The MPs will evaluate the industry’s progress on implementing the 2018 recommendations, as well as the impact of the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.
Baldwin added: “We’ll be investigating if enough work has been done to build more supportive workplace cultures, how harassment and misogyny can be addressed, and the role the government and regulator should play in role modelling behaviours.
“Has the culture in this highly paid sector shifted at all in the last five years? This is a subject of marked importance and we look forward to beginning work on this important topic.”