- Citi reported a slight improvement Wednesday in its attempt to narrow its gender pay gap. The company’s female employees now make 27% less than men do, a two-percentage-point change from the 29% difference it reported last year, according to a memo posted to the bank’s external blog.
People of color who work in the bank’s U.S. operations now earn 6% less than their white co-workers, an improvement from the 7% difference reported last year.
- A 2018 British law forced companies to reveal raw pay gap data for operations in that country. But Citi, in response to shareholder pressure, last year became one of few firms to disclose unadjusted figures worldwide. A number of companies disclose “adjusted” pay gap analysis, which factors in job function, level and location. "On this adjusted basis, we found that women globally are paid on average 99% of what men are paid at Citi," the blog post reads.
Citi earned praise for becoming the first major U.S. bank to disclose raw pay gap figures — and then taking an advocacy role. The bank created an ad campaign last year capturing the reactions of young girls the moment they learn about the pay gap. Citi also promoted Jane Fraser to president, its No. 2 job, putting her in line to potentially become the first female CEO of a large U.S. bank.
“Transparency breeds accountability, and we took that important first step last year in disclosing our pay equity results,” Sara Wechter, the company's head of human resources, said in a statement, according to Reuters. “We know the pressure to make progress will continue and we welcome it.”
Citi is using the gulf between the raw and adjusted pay gap figures to call for more women and minorities to fill management roles from assistant vice president to managing director, Wechter said.
The bank aims to increase representation at those levels to at least 40% for women and 8% for black employees in the U.S. by next year, Wechter said. Citi also is close to achieving its goal that 50% of its analyst classes be women, and 30% be people of color, she added.
“When you see the raw pay gap number getting better like you did this year, it really comes down to representation across the senior ranks of the institution,” Wechter told Bloomberg.
Equal pay advocates have said the raw pay gap data is critical to revealing whether women and minorities are concentrated in lower-paid positions. But several banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to block shareholder proposals to reveal pay gap data. Shareholders later rejected those proposals.
Citi's progress in narrowing the pay gap shows the bank is making necessary structural changes, said Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, according to American Banker.
“The lack of diversity in the upper echelons of Wall Street will not be solved in one year, but over the course of many," she said. "This is a great start, and Citi goes well beyond peers who have not even disclosed these raw numbers.”