#metoo shook the ground. Hard. In some sectors it has shaken the ground so hard that the foundations have been exposed. It was a timely wake-up call for all businesses around the globe that more work was needed to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. It has also sparked a wider debate on the broader issue of behaviour at work. Sexual harassment is reprehensible but there are many other forms of behaviour that create serious harm. So #metoo has had a profound impact, forcing organisations to look inwards and question their culture more carefully. But have firms within the financial sector done enough?
We were recently quoted in an article published by Financial News London which highlighted the extent of the problem in the finance sector - one survey last year showed that 75% of women in UK financial services said they had been sexually harassed at work, resulting in many of them leaving their jobs. The article points to a number of high profile cases that have brought the finance sector into focus but the overriding sense is that allegations of this nature are "much higher up the agenda now" and that "management teams are much more aware of harm caused to women by harassment". The other interesting point the article draws out is the true extent that the conversation about cultural shift has been encouraged. There is also strong recognition from the most senior people in financial organisations that it is not policies and procedures that need to change - it is attitudes towards how we treat each other at work that need to shift, (as well as how complaints are handled).
Harassment is sadly nothing new, but the willingness to engage in conversations about behaviour at work and challenge negative workplace culture is new - never before has there been such a strong appetite to openly discuss this topic and that, in my view, is a massively positive side-effect of the #metoo movement. We're not out of the woods yet - there are probably a few more foundations to shake and more work to be done, but one year in and things are starting to look more positive.
If you would like to read the full article, please see the link below: https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/metoo-has-changed-finance-but-has-the-industry-done-enough-20181009