Insurance market Lloyd’s of London will plaster City pubs with posters urging workers to report inappropriate behaviour, after nearly 500 of its underwriters and brokers said they witnessed sexual harassment in the past year.
It is part of the 333-year-old institution’s efforts to stamp out bullying and harassment across the insurance market, which had been criticised by the shadow City minister Jonathan Reynolds as being “institutionally sexist”.
The campaign was launched inside Lloyd’s hi-tech headquarters in the City this week, with “high impact” advertising, banners and vinyl posters featuring prominently throughout the Grade I-listed building at One Lime Street. Lloyd’s is now planning to approach local bars and cafes for a similar roll-out.
“We stand for integrity, respect and inclusion. And always speak up,” one of the posters reads. “Lloyd’s. No room for unacceptable behaviour,” another says. Both feature the number for a confidential helpline set up by the insurance market in April.
The campaign comes after a staff survey found that nearly 500 respondents either suffered or observed sexual harassment in the past 12 months alone. More than 6,000 people responded to the survey, which was sent out to its 45,000 workers, including thousands of underwriters and brokers.
The survey was commissioned to gauge the scale of its problems after Bloomberg reported evidence from 18 women alleging widespread sexual harassment, ranging from inappropriate remarks to physical assault.
Commenting on the new campaign, the Lloyd’s chief executive, John Neal, said: “At Lloyd’s we expect all market participants to act with integrity, be respectful and always speak up. I hope this campaign encourages more people to do so. You will be heard, you will be supported, and we will act, because no matter what form it takes, harassment is never acceptable.”
Lloyd’s is one of a raft of City firms trying to shed their reputations for male-dominated cultures or inaccessibility to women.
In 2017, Lloyd’s made headlines for banning its 800 direct employees from drinking during work hours. In June, that ban was extended to all workers with passes to the building.
Neal said: “Lloyd’s leadership is fully committed to transforming the culture at Lloyd’s with shared values that will shape the behaviours, choices and actions of everyone in the marketplace.”