Sexism and harassment are on the rise in the financial sector

The Weinstein effect may have set the #metoo campaign in motion and caused a number of high-profile men accused of sexual harassment to resign or lose their jobs this year, but the ripples aren’t being felt in parts of the financial sector yet.

Of the more than 600 workers in financial asset management surveyed by the Financial Times, the number of women reporting sexual harassment rose from 20% in 2014 to 32% today, A large majority (72%) of respondents, including 511 women, reported they’d experienced sexist behavior in the office, up from a third in 2014.

Brenda Trenowden, global chair of the 30% Club, a campaign group aimed at getting more women on to company boards, told the FT,  “Things haven’t improved. There are a number of people in firms who think we’ll throw money at it, launch a few initiatives. We’ll pink-wash and it will go away.”

Trenowden did say women are feeling more confident about speaking up. This is a positive, as another survey of 2,000 U.S. working adults by Berlin Cameron, the Female Quotient, and Harris Poll found that just 52% said companies need to be the first line of defense against sexual misconduct within their own walls.LD