More women 'would help banks prosper'
INCREASING the number of women on the boards of financial institutions would reduce "group think" and improve scrutiny of executive decisions, a panel of British MPs has said.
"While it is going too far to say the financial crisis would not have happened if there were more women at senior levels, boards would function more effectively if they had greater female representation," a cross-party Treasury committee said in a recent report.
"Our work on the banking crisis highlighted the need for substantial improvement in corporate governance in the City and diversity at the top is one way to challenge potentially dangerous group think," said committee chairman John McFall.
"The onus is on the City to demonstrate it is committed to improving the representation of women at senior levels."
The politicians said they were disappointed that companies in the City of London, Britain's finance hub, had not been more successful in introducing flexible working for senior staff and tackling pay inequality throughout their organisations.
Pressure for a quota system would increase unless firms take action to boost female representation, the report said.
Charles Goodhart, a former Bank of England policy maker, told the committee in October that the crisis would have been less likely if there were more women at a senior level.
"The longer-term, more cautious tendency, with less of the alpha male, would be highly beneficial," Mr Goodhart said. (Bloomberg)