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MPs target ‘alpha-male’ financial services culture

An “alpha-male” culture in financial services continues to put women off seeking top jobs, according to the Treasury select committee of MPs.

In a new report, the MPs criticise a lack of clear criteria when awarding bonuses, to combat the perception that men will argue more forcefully so will receive higher performance-related payments.

Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan argues that the current bonus culture must be replaced with “objective and formulaic criteria” so as not to deter women.

Weighed down: New data sheds light on investment industry gender pay gulf

The MPs’ report also encourages more senior men to work flexibly to normalise different working patterns, and firms to document what their strategy is to help women progress and reduce gender pay inequality.

Training to reduce the unconscious bias of senior staff recruiting those from similar backgrounds is also recommended, as is establishing and promoting schemes to help women on maternity leave return to work.

The MPs took evidence for eight months during the inquiry.

Axa group chief executive Amanda Blanc gave evidence that while the “alpha-male” culture had caused historic problems, it was no longer a “systemic” industry issue.

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