Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Login
BROWSE
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Login
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Citi Says It Exceeded Goals for Boosting Management Diversity

Feb. 16, 2022, 3:41 PM

Citigroup Inc. exceeded targets it set to increase the percentage of women and Black executives among its ranks, showing progress on the firm’s push to improve diversity.

Black employees in the U.S. now make up 8.1% of managers in roles from assistant vice president to managing director, surpassing an 8% target and up from 6% in 2018, when the firm first set the goal, according to Sara Wechter, head of human resources. Globally, the share of women in those roles increased to 40.6% from 37% in 2018.

“Clearly we achieved this set and we’re really proud of it, and it took a lot of work and it was a companywide focus,” Wechter said in an interview. “It doesn’t stop here. We’ve got more work to do and we know it.”

Citigroup will now weigh future goals for improving diversity across its ranks, and hopes to publish those targets later this year, Wechter said. The firm has improved data on employees demographics, which it could use to set targets specific to certain regions or countries.

In the U.S., for instance, Citigroup employees can now share whether they identify as multiple races, whereas before the New York-based firm’s systems only allowed them to select one race. When taking into account the shift, Black employees now make up 9.1% of managers in roles from assistant vice president to managing directors, Wechter said.

Citigroup has become one of Wall Street’s most vocal proponents of improving diversity. It was the first major bank to agree to do a racial audit to see how it may have contributed to discrimination. The firm is also one of the few to offer a frank assessment of the difference in wages it pays to men and women.

Read more: Citigroup Shrinks Gender Wage Gap a , to 26% From 27%

When Citigroup set its representation goals, Wechter was one of just three women on the operating committee, and the number of Black employees in the U.S. had dropped for eight consecutive years. Since then, the firm installed Jane Fraser as chief executive officer, the first female at the helm of a major U.S. bank. Mark Mason, who took over as chief financial officer in 2019, is one of the top Black executives on Wall Street.

“When we started on this journey in 2018, we were candid about our talent representation gaps among Black and women colleagues across the firm,” Wechter said in a memo to staff on Wednesday. “And we did something about it.”

The banking giant has long put diversity goals on the scorecards it uses to assess managers’ performance, but the firm in recent years has added more specific targets to those evaluations. The company has also stressed that the majority of employees will be able to work remotely for at least part of the time even after the pandemic subsides, a move that’s helped with efforts to recruit and retain diverse talent, Wechter said.

“It’s not just one voice, it’s not just Jane’s voice, it’s not just HR, it’s not just the individual business heads -- there’s a lot of people shining a spotlight on this conversation,” Wechter said. “The No. 1 way to get there -- and I don’t think people love hearing this -- is maniacal attention and focus. It’s not outsourced to a group to go deal with. Literally every single person on the management team’s attention is put on it.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Sally Bakewell at sbakewell1@bloomberg.net

Dan Reichl, Steve Dickson

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.