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MPs to tackle gender representation in financial services

In its inquiry the Treasury select committee detected three themes that determine diversification at firms.

It found culture and unconscious biases were underlying barriers to gender diversity, while  transparency around reporting pay and representation figures was key to driving change.

Unconscious biases include stereotypes and assumptions made about another person, for instance when hiring them.

Ms Morgan said: "The levels of gender diversity currently are insufficient in the financial services sector, particularly among senior ranks. There is clearly a long way to go.

"It is important for all of us to review and challenge our recruitment, performance review and promotional processes. 

"It is very easy for us to continue and recruit in our own image and those in senior roles need to give more permission and power to those in middle management, who are in charge of recruiting, to actually recruit somebody who looks different."

The bonus culture was also identified as “problematic” as it could veer towards men being rewarded better than women, in turn feeding into the gender pay gap.

“It undoubtedly puts some women off the financial services sector with women potentially feeling less comfortable arguing for financial recognition,” Ms Morgan said.

She added: “Diversity is intrinsically right. Gender diversity and that of minority groups has to be pursued because exclusion of any group in our society is clearly unacceptable.”

carmen.reichman@ft.com