Economy

Virgin Money close to unveiling all-female leadership team

Virgin Money close to unveiling all-female leadership team”

The boss of Virgin Money has told MPs that sexism in the City is "pervasive" and told them of a "very male culture" in the financial services industry.

She would work with Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Virgin's chief executive.

Ms Gadhia, who was managing director of RBS's mortgage division and then in its consumer finance division between 2001 and 2007 has previously spoken of the "alpha male" culture at the bank and Mr Goodwin's strongly-focussed drive for growth which helped push the lender to near collapse during the financial crisis.

Parliament's Treasury Committee is looking at the barriers for women in financial services and the value of greater gender balance.

Women and men have been sharing their stories across social media using the hashtag "me too" to show the magnitude of the problem.

Gadhia's advocacy drove the government to launch the Women in Finance Charter past year.

"The most supportive part of financial services to the charter are the banks, which are nearly universally supportive of what we are trying to achieve here, and also are making the most progress".

Jayne-Anne Gadhia said: "I remember a very senior woman being very upset one day telling me that she was expected to sleep with her boss".

"And I said, what's that?"

"The one thing that I would say is - despite all of that - we still have companies that have not signed and we should be doing everything that we can to make sure those that haven't explain why they haven't, or sign up", she added.

Jan Gooding, director of inclusion at insurer Aviva, which owns the business that used to be called Norwich Union, said: 'Aviva has zero tolerance for any sexist behaviour'.

In a government review a year ago, Ms Gadhia recommended that financial services firms should aim for greater equality in pay and to publish progress reports on diversity targets.

Gadhia has led a government review of women in financial services and is championing a charter signed by more than 100 companies to improve gender diversity.

She ‎also held a number of top jobs in the industry in the United Kingdom, including at Midland Bank following its takeover by HSBC in 1992, and in the group's Asian operations.

RBS and Aviva have been approached for comment.



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