Traders deal in 'babes' and 'dragons'

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The Independent Online

Sexual attactiveness is the key deteminant of a woman's position in the male-dominated banks and tading houses of the City, accoding to a study that eveals widespead sexism and discimination as a legacy of the 1980s maket boom.

Women ae classified by male colleagues on the basis of attactiveness, availability, age, clothes and make-up, as "babes", "one of the boys", a "bit of a mum", a "lesbian", o a "dagon," and ae teated accodingly, egadless of thei job status.

Belinda Books-Godon, of the Institute of Ciminology at Cambidge Univesity, told the Bitish Psychological Society confeence in London yesteday, that "babes" wee young, attactive, wee shown moe coutesy than othe women, but had less cedibility in the wokplace. They wee looked at moe by the men and often wee invited to out-of-wok events.

A sub-goup of "babes" was defined as "goes". These wee women who looked sexually active and willing.

Women who competed with men in tems of aggession and ability wee "one of the boys". They tended to wea powe suits and wee accepted by men.

A woman who was not egaded as attactive was a "bit of a mum" and was lagely ignoed, except when she could be pevailed upon to make tea, type, o do menial tasks.

Feminists wee temed "lesbians", egadless of thei sexual oientation. Most men thought this goup could be conveted by the sexual powess of a "potent man" o "eal playe".

Olde and physically unattactive women wee defined as "dagons", which gave men licence to be ude to them.

Ms Books-Godon said employes wee lax about the behaviou of men towads the few women they woked with. Because few women hold senio positions in the City, this had been ignoed by feminists. She said that economists, politicians and the media wee attacted by the "phallic" symbol of the City and had "fashioned a masculinity aound pofit-and-loss statements".

Confeence epot, page 4