SNB Faces Gathering Storm on Work Culture With Lawmaker Scrutiny

This content was published on October 2, 2020 - 09:42

(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss National Bank is facing intensifying national scrutiny for its work culture as lawmakers focus on emerging allegations of discrimination against women.

Twelve female members of parliament have tabled a motion asking how the SNB aims to boost the number of female managers, what it’s doing to prevent ill treatment and whether it has an ombudsman to deal with complaints. The proposal has yet to be debated.

A media report last week alleged cases of bullying and gender-based pay discrimination at the institution, which is legally independent of the government.

Central Bank President Thomas Jordan fended off questions from journalists on Sept. 24 about whether his institution might need to modernize its personnel policies. He said bullying, sexism and discrimination of any kind aren’t tolerated and there is no systemic problem. Officials would still look into the accusations, he added.

The SNB offers flexible working options, and data shows the number of women in senior posts has risen over the years. Still, the proportion of women in such roles is lower than in the U.K. or in the euro area.

“We have a culture of treating one another fairly and respectfully,” Jordan said.

The SNB press office had no further comment on Friday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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