Research perspectives

Lloyds of London takes quick action on sexual harassment

A report in Bloomberg Businessweek has pointed to a “deep-seated culture of sexual harassment” at Lloyds of London – described as “the most archaic corner left in global finance.” Despite efforts by successive women CEOs the report says that the women it spoke to – with more than 300 years of combined insurance experience – described it as a “meat market” and as having an atmosphere of “near-persistent harassment”.

The insurance market has responded by coming up with what it describes as a wide-ranging and robust plan of action, developed in collaboration with and endorsed by Lloyd’s Board and Council, the Lloyd’s Market Association and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association. The goal is to ensure a safe and inclusive working environment. Lloyd’s has committed to hearing – in a safe and confidential space – the accounts of the women who contributed to the damning report; a comprehensive review of policies and practices; the provision of an independently managed and confidential channel for reporting inappropriate behaviour; an autonomous and market-wide culture survey to identify the scale and scope of the issue, and related training. Those who are found blameworthy of sexual harassment will face sanctions such as bans both from their own organisations and from Lloyd’s.