Financial analyst alleges racial discrimination in blackface photos posted in office

Makbool Javaid, Partner – Simons Muirhead & Burton

December 6, 2021

In the case of Mme M Mulumba v Partners Group (UK) Ltd Harmonie Mulumba said she suffered racial discrimination and harassment while in the company’s associate program. Partners said in a statement that an outside law firm had investigated a series of incidents alleged by Mulumba, including “racist allegations,” but did not confirm any of the allegations. Although the company acknowledges that the incident took place, it denies any allegations of racial discrimination and harassment made by Mulumba.

The annual holiday party was held at Partners’ Zug headquarters in 2012 and Mulumba said the photos were posted in the office during his work rotation there in 2016 and 2017. A team of employees in disguise as nuns from the movie “Sister Act,” including the two men who painted their faces, the company’s management team said in an internal memo sent to employees on Nov. 30 and seen by Bloomberg. The photo was not deleted until 2020, according to the note.

“We apologize for the prejudice caused to our colleagues by this incident and for the thoughtless way in which she and the photo were overlooked over the following years,” the management team said in the circular. “After investigating, we can accept that the two employees involved were not aware of the implications of their actions, nor of their potential for offense.”

“I find the blackface weird and inherently sinister – it’s rarely used to do anything other than mock and, or present a caricature of the dark,” said Mulumba, who worked in the office where the photos were displayed, in the file. court. . “I think this reflects the true character and culture of Partners Group behind the thin veneer of decorum and decorum.”

Mulumba, who spent two years as an analyst with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., says she was unfairly kicked out in July 2018 over her complaints despite performing well during her time in the associate program of Partners Group.

In a letter she filed in court, Ms Mulumba alleges that Juri Jenkner, the head of private infrastructure, made a joke comparing black people to monkeys on a trip she was on, mocked the ‘accent from an Indian colleague as it was muted in a videoconference meeting and held Ms Mulumba to a higher standard than her white and male peers.

The case continues. Ms. Mulumba is looking for around £ 10million ($ 13.3million) for lost winnings and bonuses.

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