A Black woman resigned from her role at Legal & General in London after she secretly recorded two colleagues making racist comments about her, including that “she has a smell about her” and that Black people “don’t wash their hair.”
For 25-year-old Janika Frimpong, her resignation was a choice of resilience having experienced “multiple occasions” of racism and bullying.
On January 6, she tweeted: “No workplace should ruin your mental health.”
The two women, unaware that Frimpong had left her phone on record while in the restroom, talked about a “strong’ smell” that Frimbong allegedly acquired. In the minute-long section of the tape, it can be heard in the conversation the woman listing the possible smell as a mix of ‘”lotion” or “cocoa butter” with “hair gel.”
One woman went as far to say, “You know Black people, they don’t wash their hair.”
MailOnline posted the recording in its report.
After posting the appalling excerpt of the tape on Twitter, the incident became a public call to action. She said, “I didn’t want to have to bring this to Twitter. However I felt there was no other way to show everyone the racists and bullies @landg_group employ to represent them. I felt forced to quit my job with them today after I experienced racism and bullying on multiple occasions.”
Legal & General and facilities firm Mitie, which employed Frimpong as well as the two women making the racist comments, have both launched internal investigations into the incident.
“We are upset & saddened to hear about your experience,” the insurance giant tweeted in response to the original tweet. “The allegations are appalling & are not reflective of us or our culture. We have an internal investigation underway to identify all individuals concerned & we will do all we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The company added: “We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, racism and racial discrimination. While the allegation has been raised by an employee of a third party, we expect the same standards of behavior from them as we would our own employees.”
In a statement provided to MailOnline, Mitie said: “As a business that is committed to ensuring a company culture where every colleague can bring their true self to work, we were very concerned to hear about this incident. There is no place for racism, bullying or discrimination in our business. An investigation into this incident is already underway.”