An influential group of MPs has hit out at the City’s “alpha-male culture” and called for clearer bonus criteria and senior men to take up flexible working in order to boost women’s prospects.
A report by the Treasury Committee cited a yawning gender pay gap and bonus negotiations - where men can receive bigger rewards by arguing more forcefully - as evidence of a male-dominated culture in the Square Mile.
This, the report argues, is the “overwhelming reason” for women failing to take up senior roles.
Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan said: “The reporting of gender pay gaps at financial services firms confirms that a large gap exists between men and women working in finance, in part due to significantly more men than women in higher-earning and more senior positions.
“The benefits of gender diversity are highlighted in the report, including better financial performance, reduced groupthink and more open discussions.”
The report added that unconscious bias has affected senior recruitment, as “masculine” language and requirements for a degree, or to work certain hours, can deter female candidates.
Companies should re-examine promotion policies and only list requirements that are strictly necessary for the job, the committee said.