UK Finance Industry Faces Parliament Probe Over Sexism, Misogyny

The inquiry comes in the wake of high-profile scandals in the sector.

(Bloomberg) — UK lawmakers will investigate whether firms are doing enough to tackle pervasive sexist attitudes in the finance industry after a string of scandals which have rocked the sector in 2023. The inquiry, launching on Friday, will look at whether misogyny, sexual harassment, and the issue of stubborn pay inequality have been sufficiently addressed. Members of the parliamentary Treasury Committee are encouraging women in particular to submit evidence of their experience of the industry.

The City is facing increasing scrutiny in the aftermath of high-profile sexual harassment scandals this year, with questions raised over whether enough has been done to tackle bad behavior in a male-dominated industry.

Almost 20 women have recently come forward with allegations of harassment against hedge fund titan Crispin Odey, prompting banks and investors to slash their ties with his investment empire. There were also multiple allegations of sexual assault by employees of Britain’s largest business lobby group, the Confederation of Business Industry, prompting an avalanche of questions about the viability of its future.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has faced questioning about its handling of the Odey allegations —  and the inquiry will examine the role of regulators as well as the government in rowing back inequality across the sector.

The sector is also lagging when it comes to compensation and career progression. Women in financial services face a pay gap of 26%, double that of the wider workforce, and the share of female leaders across top financial firms increased just 2 percentage points to 35% in 2022 compared to the previous year. 

Read Next: Odey’s Downfall Shows How Far Women Have to Go in City of London

More stories like this are available on

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.