The Treasury Committee has launched a new call for evidence ‘Sexism in the City’ looking again at the barriers faced by women in the financial services sector.


The enquiry follows a previous enquiry in 2018 which found that there was an underrepresentation of women in senior positions in the sector, a culture and unconscious bias that dissuaded women from joining and progressing and a significant gender pay gap, especially when it came to bonuses.

This new enquiry’s aims are:

  • To find out whether women in the financial services industry feel more supported than they did five years ago and whether the recommendations from the previous enquiry have been implemented. These included abolishing ‘alpha male’ cultures and changing male perceptions about flexible working.
  • To examine the progress made in removing gender pay gaps.
  • To establish what role firms, the government and regulators should have in combatting. misogyny and sexual harassment and how these issues can be addressed.

The Committee is particularly seeking evidence on the following areas in relation to Women in Finance but are also interested in international comparisons and comparisons with other non-finance sectors of the economy.

  • The progress in removing the barriers to women entering and progressing their careers across the financial services industry, including progress to financial services firms’ Boards, including executive roles.
  • The impact of the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and any other Government and Regulator initiatives.
  • The progress on implementing the Treasury Committee’s 2018 recommendations.
  • The progress on removing gender pay gaps in financial services and in implementing measures to address such gaps.
  • The role of the Government and financial regulators in:
    • Acting as role models for good gender diversity practices.
    • Ensuring appropriate data is collected and published.
    • Marketing the financial industry to a more diverse base of potential recruits.
    • Ensuring firm cultures, policies and practices support women’s aspirations and progress.
  • The role of, and progress of, firms, Government and financial regulators in combatting sexual harassment and misogyny in financial services, and offering effective ways to escalate concerns about sexual harassment.

Responses should be made by 1 September 2023 and can be sent online here.

Responses can be on an individual or group/organisation basis and may be published online on a named basis unless anonymity is requested when the evidence is submitted. Unfortunately, the lack of automatic anonymity may deter some women from responding.

Useful guides on this topic

HM Treasury reports on Women in Finance and its gender pay gap
HM Treasury (HMT) has recently published its annual update as a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter and its annual Gender Pay Gap Report. It notes that while it now has achieved gender parity in terms of the numbers of men and women in senior management, in terms of pay, lower-paid women are over-represented across lower grades which has increased its gender pay gap.

Women in Finance Charter: Five-year review
A five-year review of the Women in Finance Charter estimates that it is still going to take until 2033 before financial services achieve gender parity at the board and executive level. Based on current appointment rates there is little hope of ever seeing any women on the boards of hedge funds in this lifetime.

External links

Call for Evidence: Sexism In the City

Treasury Committee Women in Finance Report 2018

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