Old boys’ network in City ‘stronger than ever’

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No new dawn: A survey that found three-quarters of candidates felt there were still obstacles holding back women, ethnic minorities and other more diverse applicants


Top headhunter warns old boys’ network in City made ‘stronger than ever’ by coronavirus pandemic

The old boys’ network in the City has been made ‘stronger than ever’ by the Covid-19 pandemic, a top headhunter has warned. 

Curly Moloney, who runs Moloney Search, said she had seen many cases this year of bosses appointing male acquaintances to top roles over more diverse candidates, because of ‘fear of the unknown’. 

No new dawn: A survey that found three-quarters of candidates felt there were still obstacles holding back women, ethnic minorities and other more diverse applicants

She added: ‘They see diversity as taking a risk. The City was nervous anyway, then they had the pandemic and would rather run the risk of having their wrists slapped over diversity than commercially getting something wrong.’ 

Moloney Search, which works with a third of companies in the FTSE100, has published a survey that found three-quarters of candidates felt there were still obstacles holding back women, ethnic minorities and other more diverse applicants. 

Moloney said she had seen many cases recently where a senior person at a City firm – often a bank or asset fund manager – had overruled candidates promoted by search firms, claiming that their own choice was ‘a much safer bet as we know them’. 

Many companies in the City claim to take diversity and inclusion seriously, but Moloney said there were a ‘lot of disenchanted diverse candidates’ who were upset about ‘making up the numbers’ on application lists.

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