The shadow City minister has ramped up pressure on Lloyd’s of London to eradicate its “institutionally sexist” culture after reports of sexual harassment at the 330-year-old insurance market.
Labour’s John Reynolds has demanded answers from chief executive John Neal on how the company will respond to the allegations and permanently change it culture.
A Bloomberg report published last week claimed 18 women had described an atmosphere of “near-persistent harassment” at the insurance market – one former employee said the exchange was “basically a meat market.”
Reynolds said he was “especially concerned” to hear that former boss Dame Inga Beale faced barriers in her attempts to improve diversity and tackle the culture.
He said: “This resistance suggests to me that there is an institutionally sexist attitude embedded into Lloyd’s culture, rather than conduct issues which can be attributed to individuals.
The Labour MP said he would visit the market next month and expected answers from chief executive John Neal on what action would be taken.
“We cannot collectively deny that the financial services sector continues to have a problem with lack of diversity and a culture of sexual harassment, demonstrated by the ongoing gender pay gap and the dominance of senior positions by men,” Reynolds added.
Senior management will hold an emergency meeting to find ways to make it easier for staff to lodge complaints, according to The Sunday Times.
The company has proposed a number of changes, including converting the pub beneath its Lime Street offices into a coffee shop in a bid to curb excessive drinking and appointing women to the currently all-men nominations and governance committee.
Neal, who took over from Beale in October last year, said: “Lloyd’s has worked really hard to put the broadest inclusion agenda at the centre of everything we do.
“No one should ever experience harassment of any kind at work and it is distressing to hear that this is still happening.
“We take it extremely seriously and will be talking to the Lloyd’s market to ensure that we stamp out these inappropriate behaviours.”