Tuesday, 26 Oct, 2021

Citi's head of diversity says the company is on track for 40% female leadership by the end of the year

Citi's head of DEI Erika Irish Brown was hired in June.Courtesy of CitiIn June, Citi hired Erika Irish Brown to lead diversity and inclusion at the..

title Citi's head of DEI Erika Irish Brown was hired in June.
  • In June, Citi hired Erika Irish Brown to lead diversity and inclusion at the firm.
  • Her initial goal is to increase Black and female representation in leadership.
  • Brown is working closely with Citi CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead a major US bank.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Erika Irish Brown, Citi's recently hired head of diversity and inclusion, has one key goal for the $142 billion firm over the next three months: to increase Black and female leadership.

"I've always tried to connect the dots between racial equity, commercial, and human capital initiatives that drive the business case for diversity," she told Insider. Diversity goals, in other words, aren't separate from talent or business objectives. They're intimately connected.

Working closely with Citi CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to head a major US bank, Brown hopes to help the firm increase the representation of women in leadership positions to 40% by the end of 2021, up from 37% in 2018. The firm also hopes to increase the representation of Black people in leadership roles to 8% in the same time frame, up from 6% in 2018.

Citi declined to share its current figures, but said it was on track to meet its goals.

The financial sector is notoriously homogenous. At the entry level of US financial services firms, the percentage of people of color is in line with their representation in society - around 40%. But as you go up the corporate ladder, research shows, it falls steadily. By the C-suite, it drops by 75%.

There's ample evidence to support Brown's business case for diversity.

A McKinsey analysis in 2020 found that companies that had more gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have high profitability than companies with low gender diversity. Separate McKinsey research shows that companies with more racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns than their respective national industry medians.

To change the status quo, leaders need to use every opportunity available to diversify their workforces, Brown said.

"We have very specific development and retention programs for mid-level Black employees as well as women," Brown said. These include active efforts to audit and close pay-equity gaps; and employee resources groups, such as Citi Women, a group for women and female-identifying employees. "We're going to continue to develop those."

The firm also continues to invest in a program called "Owning My Success," in which senior leaders mentor mid-level Black colleagues. The program began with roughly 50 participants in 2018 and has expanded to nearly 300 members in the 2020 class.

Citi is also expanding partnerships it has with historically Black universities and colleges as well as Hispanic-serving institutions. While overseeing these initiatives, Brown has been meeting and listening to her colleagues, from interns to analysts to C-suite leaders, in order to learn more about the employee experience.

"It's time consuming. My role is about understanding culture," she said. "It's about advancing diverse groups and you need those individual insights." In the three months in her position, she's already met with CEO Jane Fraser at least a dozen times.

Having support from Fraser is key, but it's not the end-all-be-all. For Brown, diversity and inclusion isn't a one-department job; it's a company-wide priority.

"You need to have full buy-in throughout the firm," she said. "I think the more that you have an open dialogue and get that buy-in and have everybody feeling like, you know, diversity, equity and inclusion is part of my role, it's part of business, that's how we drive accountability."

Read the original article on Business Insider


By: [email protected] (Marguerite Ward)
Title: Citi's head of diversity says the company is on track for 40% female leadership by the end of the year
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/6EUuZogKX08/citi-head-of-diversity-goal-black-female-leaders-2021-9
Published Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article...
https://dsgnews.com/politics/the-sec-wants-to-kick-2000-fraudprone-penny-stocks-from-online-brokerages-including-retail-favorites-sears-and-blockbuster