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Britain’s parliamentary watchdog, which scrutinizes top financial institutions, launched an investigation into gender discrimination in the City of London five years ago, saying multiple barriers hindered gender diversity in senior roles.

The cross-party House of Commons Treasury Select Committee said on Friday its inquiry would focus on the barriers faced by women in financial services to assess progress in closing the gender pay gap and combating sexual harassment and misogyny.

Harriett Baldwin, the committee’s Conservative chair, said she and her colleagues would “investigate whether enough has been done to build a more supportive workplace culture, how to tackle harassment and misogyny” , and the role that governments and regulatory agencies should play in it.” Modeling Behavior”.

treasury select committee Report A report released in 2018 identified some of the barriers to women’s advancement in financial services. It found evidence of “unconscious bias” at companies, suggesting their “bonus culture” held back and disadvantaged women, and called for more objective performance review criteria.

The committee also concluded that “continued long hours in the office are not necessary for certain positions in financial services”.

Since 2017, large UK employers have been legally obliged to report their gender pay gap, the difference in average earnings between men and women.

Working patterns in the financial services industry have also changed over the past three years as the pandemic prompted a shift to remote working. The rise of hybrid work has increased flexibility for some workers but has also raised concerns about employee burnout.

Weeks ago, City of London financier Crispin Odey left his hedge fund following a Financial Times report that 13 women had allegedly been sexually assaulted or harassed.

The Financial Conduct Authority, the industry’s top regulator, said it was investigating Odey and Odey Asset Management. FCA boss Nikhil Rathi is expected to face further questions when he appears before the TSC next week.

Amanda Blanc, chief executive of FTSE 100 insurer Aviva, said last year that she had experienced worsening sexism as she moved into more senior roles in the industry.

Blanc’s comments came after Aviva shareholders told her at the company’s annual meeting that she was “not right for the job” and should “wear trousers”.

The Treasury Board has launched a call for written evidence, which will run until September 1, and said it would particularly welcome contributions from women who have worked in financial services.

Film: Crispin Odey: The fall of the hedge fund maverick | Financial Times Film

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