Presidents Club scandal offers glimpse inside London’s macho business culture

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Presidents Club scandal offers glimpse inside London’s macho business culture

LONDON — If 2018 was supposed to be the year that the #MeToo campaign finally changed women’s experiences for the better, it got off to a bad start in Britain.

Only 11 days after Oprah Winfrey declared that the “time is up” for men who abuse their power , hundreds of millionaires and corporate executives sat down to a boozy, all-male charity dinner at which female hostesses say they were objectified and groped.

Guests at the men-only event, which was organized by a panel of business leaders called the Presidents Club, were entertained by 130 women who were required to wear short skirts, high heels and black panties. The Presidents Club gala was hosted by the Dorchester Hotel in London. But some of the women were undercover reporters for the Financial Times . They later described how they were subjected to harassment, lewd comments and sexual propositions. An elderly attendee asked one hostess if she was a prostitute.

The Presidents Club Charitable Trust was shut down within hours of the FT story being published amid widespread dismay, but its anachronistic existence has shone a light on a pervasive culture of workplace sexism in London’s macho financial district, known as “the City.”

Prime Minister […]

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