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Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Your view: Is the City sexist?

The Square Mile is seen by many as a last bastion of male dominance.

Former City worker Julie Bower has just won a sex discrimination case about unfair pay against Schroder Securities.

Several other cases have highlighted the laddish and sexist behaviour of some City offices.

BBC News Online asked readers for their experiences of life in the City.

Is the City sexist?

Yes, the City is sexist, but what do you expect?

I admit, it is tough luck on woman, but if a few harmless comments get them all worked up into a frenzy, perhaps they should be at home with the kids.
Genny Massoud, London


The City is not sexist. The men who work there are simply exhibiting normal male heterosexual behaviour

John Andrews, Netherlands

Legislation and tough action by the courts should cut down on this kind of unacceptable behaviour
Shazia, England

I've attended the Rotterdam event as a journalist several times, and sympathise with the experiences described.

In a similar vein, I was invited to dinner with a contact and his "business associate", after a promise of exclusive information on a story. When I arrived, the business associate was a golfing partner, his date was an escort girl, and I had to forcibly extract my contact from my neck and leave before coffee due to his refusal to accept I would not be going home with him.
Helen Campbell, UK

The stock market is a modern day Coliseum - it gives men very high testosterone levels. Even the meekest financial analyst can transform into Rambo. A woman walking into this climate is bound to be preyed upon. I blame society!!
Jack, London


It's also amazing how sexy you become with a platinum credit card in your wallet

David, South Africa

Sexism has no place in the modern workplace. Indeed, the women who endure this environment are very dedicated and highly competent professionals. They deserve better.
Kevin, UK

Oh yes the City is filled with wicked and evil lecherous men, not at all like that most noble of professions, journalism.
Sean, UK

Strangely enough, in Japan, traders behave themselves in front of the ladies.

Male and female traders of all nationalities do not mix socially with the exception of corporate events.

Of course, the guys still go out drinking hard and mysteriously finding themselves in strip-clubs and even less salubrious places.
Mark, Japan

The sexist behaviour of city analysts and senior managers is certainly deplorable; however the world of trade is a pressurised one, and everyone is in need of some light relief.

Women should learn to use the power of their sexuality rather than being timid and allowing themselves to be subjugated.
R Salinger, UK

Nothing has changed. The City of London was exactly like that when I was a dealer in the late seventies.

There was a topless bar called the City Circle where the most respectable bankers would lunch, drinking enormous amounts, fondling breasts and running up the company expense account (ah...happy days).

It's all part of the culture of too much money too soon. If rock stars, actors and footballers can behave like that then why not highly paid city dealers? It's also amazing how sexy you become with a platinum credit card in your wallet.
David Bullard, South Africa


Sexism has no place in the modern workplace

Kevin, UK

The City is the bastion of sexism and misogynism. I used to work as a temp in the City and saw the inherent hatred of women there. So much for the English gentleman!
Veronica Williamson, The Netherlands

As with most things covered in the press, this issue has been blown out of proportion.

I have been working in the city for five years and only wished I got some of the attention that you have allegedly uncovered.

The incidence of sexual harassment is no higher in the world of finance than it is in the factory floor, the shop floor or the home.

What you are simply highlighting is the intense financial payoffs resulting from succesful litigation of such cases.
HSS, London


If you can't take a few boys letting off steam, you shouldn't be working in the City

Steve, UK

The City is not sexist. The men who work there are simply exhibiting normal male heterosexual behaviour. The only sexism is the superior attitude of some BBC journalists who bash this behaviour with patronizing (or in this case matronizing) articles like this one.
John Andrews, Netherlands

Naturally there are those who behave in such a manner but these are in a minority, limited to a small section of the "barrow boy" trading element which is fast becoming the exception to the norm of graduate recruits.

In any case, people are all too aware that they aren't indispensable and that if they overstep the mark they're off.

You may as well point to bricklaying as an industry which doesn't permit entry to women and engages in unreconstructed chauvinism and sexual harrassment.
Raman, UK

My company is a software vendor to all the major investment banks. At one of the top five banks there is a banker who showed me that whenever he was bored he could shout across the floor and one of the girls would walk out into the passageway between desks and bend over. She seemed to enjoy the attention.
David Lewis, UK


There is sexism in the City but it is not much greater than any other business

Charlotte, UK
If you can't take a few boys letting off a bit of steam, you shouldn't be working in the City.
Steve, UK

I work for a large City firm, where many of the top positions are held by women, female staff make up a large proportion of the workforce and sexism as described here is rare to unheard-of.

Continued stories of the laddishness of the City and enforced drinking and sexism only put women off applying for City jobs without any real justification.
Rebecca, UK

Rather than just say the city is sexist, I feel bigoted is a more accurate description as white men in all positions in the city seem to have absolutely no prisoners when it comes to opinions and comments.

I have worked there in an IT capacity and quite honestly feel ashamed to be a man, and more specifically a white man. Peter, UK

I think it is perfectly fair, it is a mans' world after all!
Adrian Brass, UK

There is sexism in the city but it is not much greater than any other business.

Many companies find this unacceptable and have appropriate procedures for women who have been victims of sexism to make a complaint. Anyone working on a trading floor needs to have a thick skin just to cope with the pressure and generally it is purely work related.

Also the reports of sexism are always made by very senior employees; Do women lower down the ranks not complain because they do not feel in a position to, because it does not happen to them, or because they are not upset by it?
Charlotte, UK

A city trader who is making money for his firm can get away with murder, never mind sexism and disregard for political correctness. His (and it usually is a he) work involves very little social interaction, crushing stress and his employer judges him only by the amount of money he makes. This is the sort of work that can bring out the worst in anybody. However traders make up only a tiny proportion of all City professionals. The high profile of their work makes their misdeeds stand out far more than the overall high standards of equality elsewhere in the City.
Andrei, UK

The net effect of legislation protecting women from sexual discrimination is that women are less likely to be offered jobs in the first place.
J Douglas, UK

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10 Apr 01 | Business
Laddism and the City
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