A female supervisor was referred to as ‘little lady’ by a top UK bank executive, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed.
Speaking at the Women in Finance Summit, Megan Butler, one of the FCA’s chief supervisors, shared the anecdote during her keynote speech.
Butler spoke of the need for continued change within the financial sector, and warned that the focus on gender diversity “must not be a flash in the pan.”
The FCA is also pledging to do more to improve diversity and gender equality within the City
However, Butler painted a bleak picture of the current situation. Currently, only 13 per cent of individuals with FCA regulatory approval in trading firms are women, rising to 19.22 per cent for insurance.
According to statistics, financial service companies around the world will not have equal female executive committee representation until 2107.
The FCA itself has a gender pay gap of 19.28 per cent. That is above the national average of 18.1 per cent, but much better than the financial-services average of 37.4 per cent.
Goldman Sachs has recently revealed it pays male employees 55.5 per cent more an hour than its female employees. HSBC also revealed that it has a gender pay gap of 59 per cent. HSBC’s reported gap is the biggest yet to be disclosed by a British bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland reported a 37.2 per cent mean gap in hourly pay, while Barclays reported a mean gap of 48 per cent.
Butler said, “But there is more to do.”
“The event at the President’s Club, although we did not see major financial service firms in attendance, shows how much more there is to be done and how unsafe it is to assume that the commitment to the value of diversity has safe and secure roots.”
“We must take nothing for granted.”
“A point underlined by the fact that one of our female supervisors was recently referred to as ‘little lady’ by a senior leader from one of the UK’s biggest banks.”
“My hope is that we can finally leave this sort of throwaway comment in the past.”