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Lloyd’s of London announced an initiative to prevent sexual harassment five days after a Bloomberg Businessweek article outlined a culture of sexual harassment within the ranks of the exchange.
The publication spoke with 18 women with more than 300 years of combined experience in the insurance market who described incidents of harassment, including one in which a woman who was attacked by a senior manager was discouraged from pursuing a complaint for professional reasons, in the article that posted on Thursday.
“It has been distressing to hear about the experiences of women in the Lloyd’s market,” John Neal, Lloyd’s CEO, said in a statement on Tuesday. “No one should be subjected to this sort of behavior, and if it does happen, everyone has the right to be heard and for those responsible to be held to account. I am pleased that the market has given its full support for a strong set of actions, and I am determined that Lloyd’s offers a safe and inclusive working environment for everyone.”
The Lloyd’s plan includes actions intended to increase reporting, impose strong sanctions on those found responsible for inappropriate behavior, and create better understanding and awareness of the issues, according to the statement.
The plan includes “an independently managed, confidential and market-wide access point for reporting inappropriate behavior” and mandates that individuals responsible for inappropriate behavior be subject to sanctions from their own companies and Lloyd’s and to a possible ban from entering Lloyd’s for a fixed period and potentially for life.
It also includes the undertaking of “an independent and market-wide culture survey to identify the scale and scope of the issue” and to inform further action, as well as a review of policies and practices across the Lloyd’s market, with a view to identifying and sharing best practices. The plan provides for training focused on prevention, reporting and supporting those who have been subjected to inappropriate behavior.
Lloyd’s previously committed to hearing the accounts of the women who contributed to the article published by Bloomberg in “a safe and confidential space,” according to the statement. Lloyd’s also pledged to make changes to its nominations committee to increase diversity, with Fiona Luck (Lloyd’s Board) and Vicky Carter (Lloyd’s Council) immediately join the committee, succeeding Sir David Manning and Charles Franks.
The plan was developed in collaboration with and endorsed by Lloyd’s Board and Council and by the associations representing the Lloyd’s market: Lloyd’s Market Association and the London and International Insurance Brokers Association.
(Reuters) — Lloyd’s of London is reviewing all aspects of its business, including its centuries-old structure, to ensure it is cost-competitive and responsive to both clients and members, especially after Britain leaves the EU, industry sources said.