Citi: Passionate sponsorship of the diversity agenda

Each year the Workplace Gender Equality Agency  recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces. One of the organisations to achieve a WGEA citation this year is Citigroup. Canstar caught up with Citigroup for a discussion on equality and opportunity.

The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation is a leading practice recognition program that aims to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

The citation is strategically aligned with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 and recognises that gender equality is increasingly critical to an organisation’s success and is viewed as a baseline feature of well-managed and leading organisations.

One of the institutions to achieve a WGEA citation this year is Citigroup, and it is the icing on the cake that Citi has just announced  the appointment of a female – the highly-accomplished Samantha Mostyn – to the Chair of the Board of Citigroup Pty Limited.

Canstar caught up with Citi for a quick Q&A on diversity, equality and opportunity with the Group.

 

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Q: What are some of the ways in which Citigroup works to promote gender equality in the workplace?

A: We have seven pillars to our gender strategy at Citi, under which sit a number of goals and programs.  The pillars are recruitment, pay equity, senior representation, workplace flexibility, employee networks, parental leave, and supporting an end to domestic violence.

At the core of the program is accountability, with diversity measures included in the performance scorecard for each business head.  Measures include rates of hiring, attrition, promotion, mobility and performance.

To help meet these goals, we have in place a number of programs to help senior managers and staff.    One of the most effective programs has been reverse mentoring, where we match mid-tier women to Senior Executives including the CEO.  This has been particularly effective and has been the catalyst for our CEO in the retail business adopting more flexible work practices.

We have made steady progress towards reaching our goals over a number of years.  A long-time champion of diversity at Citi is Stephen Roberts, the head of the franchise in Australia.  He has dedicated time and resources for more than a decade to promote diversity within the firm.   Stephen is a founding member of Male Champions of Change in Australia, and is on the Citi Asia Steering Committee for Diversity and Inclusion.

Q: Retaining loyal and committed staff is a goal for any business.  Do your equality initiatives pay dividends in this regard?

A: Our equality initiatives are valuable in retaining both men and women within Citi, as they reflect on the respect we demonstrate for all staff, many of whom work in very different business with very different cultures.

Our retention rates for high performing staff across the firm remain at round 90%.

Q: Are there any other workplace changes you would like to see going forward?

A: Our current focus is on having the organisation see gender initiatives as workplace initiatives for both men and women.  For example, we are piloting a “Working Dads” program, to assist men managing roles and expectations at home and in the workplace.  We are also encouraging flexible work arrangements and parental leave for both men and women.

We have passionate sponsorship of the diversity agenda from both senior men and women, but need to continue to educate more junior levels about the benefits and ensure we are sending a consistent message across the organisation.

 

You can find out more about the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality here.

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