'Enlightened' Varley challenges sexism

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The Independent Online

After having rippled his muscles to speed up promotion to chief executive in the male-dominated boardroom at Barclays, John Varley was today calling on his peers to end the City's machismo attitudes and bring down the sexist barriers that preclude women from succeeding in the Square Mile.

After having rippled his muscles to speed up promotion to chief executive in the male-dominated boardroom at Barclays, John Varley was today calling on his peers to end the City's machismo attitudes and bring down the sexist barriers that preclude women from succeeding in the Square Mile.

"As a leader and as a man, I am aware that I have an important role to play in facilitating the change," he said. "Many of us think our views are enlightened and that we are supportive of individual women and of the ethos of equality of opportunity and yet, consciously or unconsciously, we create barriers." Unveiling a Barclays-sponsored study from the workplace organisation Opportunity Now on how businesses are challenging sexism, Mr Varley said companies would suffer brand and reputational damage if they did not improve their attitudes towards women as employees, shareholders and customers.

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