Citigroup has a problem. On Wednesday, one of the world’s largest banks publicly admitted that its female employees earn 29% less than its male employees globally.
The bank had ordered a study of its own payment practices, only to realize that it may not like the results. Company-wide, the median raw pay for women globally is 71% of the median for men, and minorities in the company earn 7% less than non-minorities. No wonder that, as Bloomberg notes, Citigroup has seen a drop in black bankers for eight consecutive years.
“This reiterates the importance of our goals to increase representation of women and U.S. minorities in senior and higher-paying roles at Citi,” Sara Wechter, Citi’s head of human resources, wrote in a blog post.“We know we need a comprehensive approach to our diversity initiatives to make the progress we want to see.”
It was an unusually blunt self-assessment, but, hey, it’s 2019, and women and minorities are still paid less than their white male counterparts, and that really needs to change. As Fast Company reported last year, if efforts to close the pay gap proceed at the same rate as they have since the 1960s, we won’t see pay parity across the United States until 2059, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. And, sadly, efforts by states like California and Massachusetts to legislate gender-based pay parity are still falling short. In many ways, it is up to companies to pay people equally, regardless of gender or race. It sounds like Citigroup is trying to do that work.
To kickstart that change, the bank has set a goal to increase representation at the assistant vice president through managing director levels to at least 40% for women globally and 8% for black employees in the U.S. by the end of 2021. Presumably those women and black employees will be paid the same as their white male counterparts.