African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), a subsidiary of Old Mutual, has been accused of racism, intolerance and prejudice towards its female employees of colour.
Four women, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of further victimisation, wrote to Old Mutual two weeks ago to voice their concerns about about what they termed “bullying” and which they say the company had not responded to until on Thursday evening after the Cape Times sent Old Mutual questions.
The Cape Times is in possession of the letters.
One reads: “What is the AIIM culture? It is a culture of intolerance, prejudice, where certain individuals are made to feel superior to others.
"A place where people of colour (black and coloured, specifically) are too afraid to speak up in fear of being victimised and bullied to the extent where disciplinary procedures are instituted - without any merit.
"In this day and age, I cannot believe that companies like this still exist!
I have seen how my colleague was bullied into resigning by ‘white’ superiors. And when asked for intervention by the human resource executive, my colleague was even more degraded.”
Old Mutual responded on Thursday, saying it had recently been made aware of the allegations and was conducting a full independent investigation.
“Old Mutual does not tolerate any discrimination in the workplace, and we view any such allegations in a very serious light,” Old Mutual said in response to the Cape Times’ questions.
One woman said: “As a coloured person, I have seen how my skills and expertise have been questioned time and time again, over those of my white colleagues.
"My inputs and recommendations have had to be ‘double-checked’ by my white counterparts or, the extreme, other experts have to be brought in.”
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