Lloyds Of London Will Combat Sexual Harassment By “Naming And Shaming” Culprits
Following a report just days ago that sexual harassment and day drinking were commonplace at Lloyd’s of London, the company is now hitting back with a policy that will “name and shame” anyone it bans from the insurance market due to sexual harassment, according to a new Bloomberg article.
Chief Executive Officer John Neal said: “When we do see instances of bad behavior, and let’s hope they are infrequent, we have got to be public and decisive about the action that we take. People have got to be really clear that you cannot behave that way. Where we ban someone we should be very public about it.”
He continued: “This is not the Lloyd’s that I want to be part of. We have got to ensure that everybody, whether it’s a woman or a man, should feel safe at any time of day doing anything that’s associated with the Lloyd’s market. I’m determined that will be the case.”
In addition, Neal stated that alcohol would no longer be allowed on the premises at Lloyds and that the company would eject anyone who was drunk.
Prior CEO Inga Beale also tried to address the culture of drinking at Lloyd’s, but failed in many respects to do so. Beale, for example, tried to implement rules in early 2017 to stop drinking during the day. “The London market historically had a reputation for daytime drinking, but that has been changing. Drinking alcohol affects individuals differently. A zero limit is therefore simpler,” she said in a note.
As a result, complaints from inside of Lloyd’s began to echo across the industry. Some men compared it to big brother, while others sneered as though Beale was trying to act like their mothers. The ban has been “widely ignored”, according to the article.
Neal told to Bloomberg that “While it’s an incredibly negative position to come from, you’ve written a story that has galvanized us into more action. I think we have to use that as a rallying call.”
Lloyds of London runs a 330-year-old exchange for the worldwide insurance market, not unlike the New York Stock Exchange of old. Most everything at Lloyd’s, including the brokers, operates the old fashion way, using things like rubber stamps, pens and paper. In other words, Lloyd’s is keeping it old-school – but this was said to be true in more ways than one, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek write up.
The report suggested that a deep-seated culture of sexual harassment, inclusive of inappropriate remarks and unwanted touching – all the way to sexual assault – is still commonplace at the company. Bloomberg talked to 18 women who had more than 300 years of combined experience in the insurance market and they described Lloyd’s as an “atmosphere of near persistent harassment”.
One insider said that it is “basically a meat market”, describing an incident where a senior manager drunkenly attacked her in a pub around the corner from Lloyd’s. Her employer had convinced her subsequently not to file a complaint and she, like many other women, now simply just avoid the trading floor at Lloyd’s, which is made up of “a sea of men”.
The company also said on Tuesday that it would address these recent allegations by setting up an independent whistleblower hotline and laying out potential lifetime bans for anyone found guilty of sexual harassment.