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Lord Browne: “Homophobia could be holding back gay employees in The City”

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  1. Oh right. I was just thinking what a shame it is that there are not enough gays that rise to the top of Britain’s state-sponging, financial mafia of third rate bankers and amoral, asset-stripping scumbags and how much more liberated and empowered I would feel if this weren’t the case.

    I’m sure we’ll get round to sorting it once we’re done with that glass ceiling anyhow. When every violent crime syndicate is at least 40% female and reasonably multi-ethnic, when Evan Davis replaces Alan Sugar on the Apprentice and the next Archbishop (get this) gives equal authority to women and men to sanctimoniously lecture others about how to live their lives.

    Perhaps I’m going out on a limb, but is it not remotely possible that the main reason there are no openly gay men on the FTSE 100 index is the culture of sociopathic machismo and compulsive lying that is part and parcel with British banking “culture”?

    1. Kerry Hollowell 12 Nov 2012, 5:58am

      what a completely irrelevant rant from El Gabal.

      Lord Browne is correct, it is very difficult for an out gay person to rise to the top in any large FTSE company. It’s largely to do with the fact that the misconception is that gay people do not fit in and there is still a macho culture in big organisations.

    2. That There Other David 12 Nov 2012, 9:34am

      El Gabal, the FTSE 100 companies are mostly not banks.

      Fully agree about the latent culture of sexism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism that exists on the trading floors, but that’s only a few people in a few of the companies Lord Browne is talking about.

  2. Paul in Brighton 12 Nov 2012, 10:38am

    I have no time for the Oil industry, or indeed the City for that matter, or the banks, however, I welcome what Lord Browne has said.

    There’s no doubt that LGBT candidates are not selected for top roles in anything in the City. And those that are, are only appointed on the basis that their not an out LGBT person, or one who bring discredit and shame to the city.

    The City, has always had a long tradition of supporting traditional values, and of course, this includes traditional church values. One of the cities biggest financial backers has always been the Anglican Church ‘Ethical Investment’ arm.

    That said, while I think it’s great that Lord Browne has said what he has, this is only opening the door to debate and if I was working in the city it wouldn’t encourage me to step out of the closet.

    The city and big business including banks are known for accommodating senior LGBT staff.

    1. Paul in Brighton 12 Nov 2012, 11:26am

      Sorry. my last line should have had a ‘not’ in it!

      not known for accommodating…

  3. ‘possible’ I’d say it was pretty damn near certain.

  4. Yes, homophobia could be holding back employees in the city, but the city contains only a very small proportion of gay workers, and mostly, at that, the rather privileged ones who are probably more able to fight their corner, as it were, than the average bin man, let’s say.
    So yes, there is room for improvement, but not any need for special focus on the city, which, after all, seems to have an excessive and disproportionate hold on the echelons of the political world.
    I would say this case http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/exclusive-gp-straight-talk-8160690.html we heard about some time back is a little more worrying.

    1. Spanner1960 12 Nov 2012, 1:49pm

      “…the city contains only a very small proportion of gay workers.”
      Who are you kidding? I worked in the city for a long time, and the place was crawling with gay people. Maybe they aren’t quite as visible in suits as they are dressed half naked with whistles on a Pride parade, but go to any West End gay bar of a Friday around 6pm, and see how many are city people.

      I also don’t know where you get this “privileged” BS from either, many people in the City are from average backgrounds, but they just worked hard to get where they are. One thing is demonstrably true is that many gay men were in better positions because they didn’t have young families to look after, and could concentrate on their work more and consequently rise up the career ladder that much quicker.

      1. “I worked in the city for a long time, and the place was crawling with gay people.”
        You don’t understand me. I mean that, relative to the number of gay people there are in the UK, the fraction of people who work in the city is small; by far more people work in the NHS, for example. Fewer still to this number are those gay people who work in the city.

        The city actually does tend to attract people from certain backgrounds. Yes, perhaps there are exceptions, but the vast majority of people who work in the city would probably have been privately educated. That is significant. The city is not some motor of social mobility paradise that permits all those poor kids who want to to join its ranks! Don’t be deluded.

  5. Lord Browne rightly highlights some serious issues but they go much deeper than he suggests. The world he moves in and talks about is founded in Oxbridge machismo and cronyism (Browne himself is a Cambridge man). Living in Oxford it is very worrying to see how the university deploys civil partnership mentality – all very positive about equality and diversity in many ways (there is, for example, a rainbow flag currently flying over Wadham College for its Queerweek) but under circumstances which clearly delineate and segregate LGBTs from the main activities of the university. I think that marriage equality will go some way towards breaking down the overly-sharp division made between LGBTs and Everybody Else in British society but I’m not sure it will do much to challenge the deeply-entrenched dynamics of Oxbridge cronyism which still enforce strong divisions between gay and straight, divisions which therefore permeate our leading institutions as a consequence.

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