Johannesburg, South Africa – 26 May 2017
The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is at the forefront of transformation within Corporate South Africa met with ABSA Group CEO, Ms. Maria Ramos and some her executives on Thursday, 25 May 2017. The meeting follows the walkout of black professionals at ABSA Capital’s staff meeting after Phakamani Hadebe was overlooked for a promotion to head the CIB business. The BMF sought to understand the circumstances surrounding Hadebe’s resignation and to discuss the broader lack of transformation at ABSA. As the BMF, we have been very intentional in our focus on the composition of executive teams and company boards with regards to gender and race as we believe that gate-keeping is sponsored from the very top, leading to transformation being undermined and ultimately reversed as is the case at ABSA currently.
At the meeting, the BMF highlighted its grave concerns with regards to:
The meeting with ABSA was very robust and candid. The following were the outcomes emanating from the above engagement:
Group CEO, Maria Ramos commented that the professionals that staged the walkout will not be victimised in anyway. The BMF will closely watch ABSA and follow the developments in this regard.
The BMF thanks Ms Ramos and her team on their willingness to engage on these issues and for their posture in dealing with the crisis so far. The BMF commends the courageous and principled stand taken by the black professionals at ABSA. They have set an example on how to professionally and yet firmly challenge institutionalised racism in Corporate South Africa.
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