Employment practices in the City are under close scrutiny. Aisling Sykes, a vice-president at JP Morgan, asked for more flexible hours to see her children. She was refused, and her subsequent sex-discrimination claim failed. The tribunal ruled that a highly paid executive with a full-time nanny could hardly 'complain that the balance between motherhood and work is tilted too far towards work'.
But Kay Swinburne reportedly agreed a six-figure financial settlement with her former employer Deutsche Bank after her complaints of sex discrimination and constructive dismissal were upheld. Her manager referred to female staff as 'hot totty', 'chicks' and 'pieces of skirt', and implied that Ms Swinburne had slept with a client on a business trip. Time will tell whether rising compensation levels will force City employers to modernise employment practices and turn their backs on the prevailing macho culture.