Lads of London

[Re: Shadow City minister ramps up pressure on Lloyd’s of London over sexual harassment claims]

Shadow city minister Jonathan Reynold’s observation that Lloyd’s has an “institutionally sexist culture” calls for a response beyond what would be expected for most firms. While introducing a raft of
reforms to address the Lloyd’s culture is a step in the right direction, an added commercial incentive is required to overcome ingrained sexist attitudes.

Business incentives to fight sexual harassment in the workplace have already seen some use from tech investors, who are inserting #MeToo clauses into contracts with startups – businesses that may not have the HR function and resources to properly address such issues.

At the other end of the scale is Lloyd’s, one of the world’s oldest and largest insurance firms. Clearly, the issue of sexual harassment uncovered is one that the firm has been unable to address internally, and change of any kind is only ever effective if there is total buy-in from management.

Perhaps making employees personally liable for any claims of sexual harassment and writing this into contracts of employment is the kind of deterrent that Lloyd’s needs. However, as the pervasiveness of its cultural issue unfolds, it becomes clear that deterrent policies and training alone are probably not enough to undo years of history.

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David Greenhalgh

David Greenhalgh

Partner – Employment

+44 (0) 20 7580 5721