Citigroup commits to narrowing gender pay gap

Announcement follows a shareholder proposal from investors

Citigroup commits to narrowing gender pay gap
Citigroup has vowed to measure, publish and close the pay gap between men and women in its offices in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as for US minorities -- the first such effort by a major US bank.

The focus on pay "supports our efforts to attract and retain the best talent and reward performance," Citigroup said.

The bank’s move is in response to a shareholder proposal filed by Boston-based Arjuna Capital, reported the Washington Post.
The bank also promised to do a similar analysis on other countries where its 200,000 global workforce are located. 

"Citigroup is stepping into a leadership role on the gender pay gap that we have not seen from any of its U.S. financial peers," Arjuna’s managing partner Natasha Lamb said.

Nearly half of Citigroup’s employees are women but only a quarter of senior executives are. In the US, 11% of employees are African American but just 1.6% of senior executives are.

In analyzing total compensation, Citigroup will consider factors such as job level, function and geography.

In the UK, all companies are required to report gender pay data effective April. The national gender pay gap currently stands at 18%, and the disparity reported by financial institutions have thus far tended to be wider than this. 

But a partner at Mercer Consulting, Brian Levine, said the numbers shrink to between one and three per cent when job function, seniority and other factors are taken into account, largely because women are clustered in lower paying jobs.

Lamb said she hoped other banks would follow Citigroup’s example.

In 2016, Arjuna successfully pressed seven technology firms to disclose their pay gap.

In 2017, it made the same effort with US banks but was rebuffed.

This year, other financial institutions asked to publish their policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, American Express, Mastercard, Reinsurance Group of America and Progressive

Related stories:
Iceland outlaws unequal pay
Study blames women for gender pay gap

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