Have a rant: bullying and harassment in the City

Before I get on my high horse, I should declare thatI am an HR manager in a public sector organisation. Our organisation is unionised and the decisions I take can come under intense public scrutiny.

So, it infuriates me to read yet another tale of harassment in the City. It seems to me that the only time us non-City workers get to find out about working life in the Square Mile is either when it is bonus time or when someone is suing their employer, as in the case of former Deutsche Bank employee, Helen Green.

The privacy enjoyed by these institutions is extraordinary. And it would seem by the Green case that a lot is covered up. So why the secrecy? Are working cultures really that bad? Is bullying rife? Is it really all about survival of the fittest? And does lack of unionisation mean the most vulnerable fall foul of the most powerful?

I suspect that money rules – you do a good job by any means necessary and you get your reward. And in so doing people get bullied and discriminated against.

But this is conjecture. I’d like to hear from HR directors in the City about working culture and what is being done to stamp out bullying and discrimination.

Without knowing, I draw my own conclusions – and that’s the problem for the City. Stereotypes and secrecy abound and are reinforced by the plight of workers such as Helen Green.

So City HR directors, why not start telling people about life in the Square Mile? That way maybe we can be a bit more sympathetic the next time it all goes wrong.

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