Lloyd’s Culture Survey Reveals Depth of Sexism in the Industry

A recent culture survey of Lloyd’s of London has highlighted significant problems regarding sexual harassment within the market.

The survey, undertaken by the Banking Standards Board for Lloyd’s, had more than 6,000 respondents. It showed that nearly 500 of those that responded had either suffered or witnessed sexual harassment over the last year.

The results of the survey have been described by the boss of Lloyd’s as “truly terrible”.

Tackling issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment in the industry has long been a focus of the FCA. The regulator is  not overly prescriptive about organisational culture, but wants to encourage the development of healthy, ‘speak-up, listen-up’ cultures in the workplace. By encouraging organisations to ‘listen-up’, it is hoped that when employees raise concerns, organisations will respond appropriately resulting in what should be a safe environment where employees know that their worries or concerns will be listened to.

With more than 20% of respondents reporting that they had seen individuals in the organisation ‘turn a bling eye’ to inappropriate behaviour, a ‘speak-up’ culture does not seem to be prevailing at Lloyd’s.

Lloyd’s CEO, John Neal stated that he is “ determined that we create a working environment at Lloyd’s where everyone feels safe, valued and respected. Cultural change takes time, but we have to accelerate progress and the measures announced today are intended to do just that.”

“The vast majority of people working at Lloyd’s are as committed as I am to taking the action we need to drive measurable results. Creating an inclusive marketplace is a priority for Lloyd’s and crucial to our long-term success.”

The measures for improvement include a Gender Balance Plan, setting Standards of Business Conduct and the introduction of a culture dashboard which will monitor progress at Lloyd’s against indicators of a healthy culture.

Improving conduct in the financial services sector is intrinsic to the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) from December 9th 2019. This is why we urge firms to consider their own organisational culture going forward. Is it one where employees turn a  ‘blind a eye’ or one where they feel safe to speak up and know that they will be listened to? Ahead of the new regime, these are important factors for firms to consider.

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