Posted by: Katrina Stewart

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Great turnout for Oakleaf’s first Executive Dinner Club

The executive team in London hosted their first of many HRD Dinners at the amazing offices of Eversheds Sutherland last week. Paul Fontes, Eversheds FS Partner, created healthy and upbeat debate on topics such as gender pay, equal pay and sexual harassment in the workplace. HR Directors working for Asset Managers and Hedge Funds came together to share ideas and thought leadership on topics they were all finding challenging in their organisations.

Some of the key points coming out of the conversation included:

  • Many of the firms do not have a problem with equal pay, but are still male dominated at the senior leadership level, causing the gap to grow. The agreement is that it will take time to reduce the gap, as the initiatives created to attract female graduates and female managers into Financial Services will only really bear fruit in the next 10 years
  • Overall, women place greater importance on work-life balance than compensation, and it was felt that women didn’t negotiate as hard as their male counterparts when it came to offer of employment
  • Many organisations are turning their attention to male employees when it comes to parental leave, increasing paternity leave in order for females to return, reducing their time away from the workplace, and in doing so quickly getting back on track with their career
  • When it comes to hiring, organisations are putting pressure on external search partners to present an equal gender split on the shortlist. Depending on role and level, this exercise can be challenging, and search partners still adopting the philosophy of finding the best talent for the job
  • When it comes to direct applicants across some job areas, hiring females can prove difficult when over 75% of the applicants are male
  • Eversheds mentioned that since the #MeToo campaign, they had received an increase in claims across a variety of sectors and levels of claimant, both male and female.

If you are interested in joining the Oakleaf Executive Dinner Club, and have any thoughts on topics you would like to discuss, please do get in touch with Katrina Stewart –

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