Some of the country's brightest women students are deciding against careers in the City, seeing it as unethical and offering poor prospects for women.
In a survey of 450 Oxford undergraduates, women students saw banking as the occupation in which they would be most likely to experience discrimination.
Almost 70% of the women surveyed expected this discrimination to lead to poorer prospects for promotion, while half of them anticipated discrimination in workplace culture and pay.
Over one-third (35%) expected discrimination in day-to-day treatment and almost 30% in terms of flexible working hours, reports the Times.
Most of the women surveyed regarded banking as 'demonstrably unethical', preferring careers combining good material rewards with the potential to make a contribution to society, such as engineering and environmental work. Lesley McLeod, communications director of the British Bankers' Association, said: "The balance of women getting senior positions in banking is slowly changing. It is getting better, but it is a slower process than perhaps many of us would like."