Report Calls for Abolition of ‘Alpha-Male’ Culture in Financial Services

The 'alpha-male' culture that exists within the finance sector must be abolished to encourage the progression of women to senior levels. 

That is a conclusion of a newly published report from the Treasury Committee, which claims that culture is the overwhelming reason why women said they do not want to get involved at the senior levels of the financial services sector.

According to the report, the alpha-male culture in some organisations is evident in bonus negotiations, where it's perceived that men argue more forcefully for bonuses than women. This can result in higher rewards for men, and acts as a deterrent for women.

The Committee makes a number of recommendations on how the culture can be changed, including:

  • Assess bonuses against clear criteria to abolish 'alpha-male' culture
  • Remove stigma of flexible working by senior men leading by example
  • Encourage firms to publish strategies for closing gender pay gaps
  • Partners and subsidiaries should not be exempt from gender pay gap reporting
  • Firms should re-examine recruitment and promotion policies to eliminate unconscious bias, which will avoid potential applicants being deterred and avoid groupthink

“The benefits of gender diversity are highlighted in the report, including better financial performance, reduced groupthink and more open discussions,” commented Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee. “The next step must be for firms to set out how they will abolish their gender pay gap and support the progression of women. Firms should focus on changing the culture in financial services firms, which remains a deterrent for women, especially the bonus culture.”

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Our employment law team has many years of experience advising on a wide variety of complex and sensitive City employment issues, and our expert employment lawyers are ideally placed to help. So, if you find yourself facing dismissal, or subject to discrimination or harassment, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0.

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