Julia Hartley-Brewer says many women are "too sensible" to take on top jobs in companies as they like to spend time with children and have a better work-life balance.
The Government is calling on financial services firms to sign a gender diversity pledge which was created in 2016. Nicky Morgan, the chair of the treasury committee, has written to 33 companies who have not yet signed up, asking them to do so by tomorrow (February 16) or explain why they don't want to.
Julia questioned whether the reason for this is most women are "too sensible to do the silly hours" and "maybe women are just too sane to do these jobs."
She continued "virtually every woman I know who’s serious about their career, a lot of high earners, they have actually chosen not to earn more, not to take that promotion, because they like to spend some time with their kids.
"They don’t want to be travelling off to Paris or New York at the drop of a hat, they don’t want to be in the office until 11pm every night and they know that a lot of those top jobs involve that sort of commitment and they don’t want to do it."
But Morgan said "I think that women are very sensible, which is why we need more of them in these top positions.
"With technology and with the ability to encourage more flexible working and more job shares and that sort of thing, there are ways that companies, working with their employees, they work something out."
The Conservative MP added: "It makes sense for companies to think 'we’re going to invest in our people and keep them there'."
Listen to the full interview above