Venetia Thompson, until recently a broker, says that the feminist Fawcett Society should not campaign to outlaw City outings to strip joints: they are harmless after-hour crèches
It appears that women’s rights activists have hijacked the credit crunch. There could be no better time for the Fawcett Society, led by their director, Katherine Rake, to launch an attack cannily entitled ‘Sexism and the City’ — complete with a handy online, easy-access PDF of its ‘manifesto’. After all, it is those pesky banks and their irresponsible, sexist, strip-club-dwelling employees that are to blame for all our financial worries.
The society’s solution? Campaign to outlaw client entertainment or business meetings taking place in strip clubs, and for the clubs to be licensed as ‘Sex Encounter Establishments’, akin to sex shops. The Fawcett campaigners also propose to ‘end the long working hours culture’ and to ‘make work flexible for all employees at every level’. Few City firms have gone as far as KPMG, with their ‘award-winning’ flexible-working programme offering many options: shorter working weeks, homeworking, job-sharing and, most amusingly, ‘glide time’ which allows start and end times of the working day to be adjusted. Truly inspired ideas in the midst of an economic crisis.
Professor John Coates, a research fellow in neuroscience and finance at Cambridge University, announced a couple of weeks ago, following his study of 260 traders, that there was a correlation between market movements and levels of hormones in male traders’ systems; that surges in testosterone can lead to irrational risk-taking. This led him to the conclusion that if more women and older men were hired, the financial markets could stabilise. This was great news for the Fawcett Society: not only are men in the City supposedly sexist, but now — it is claimed — most of them can also be blamed for the turmoil in the financial markets.