Major corporations strive to close the pay equity gap with varying success. Banking giant Citigroup, in particular, has struggled, posting a gender pay gap of 29% in 2018 and 27% in 2019. These gaps look grim, but they are actually raw data that includes the entire payroll of the company only separated by gender. Adjusting those figures to compare “like-for-like” employees (those in the same jobs or with similar work experience) closes that number to where female bank staff made 99% of their male counterparts. While this seems close to parity, the bank still strives to do better. Moreover, the bank should be applauded for its transparency – it is required by law in the U.K. to share raw numbers, but not here in the U.S.
The raw data does serve a purpose, however, because it illustrates the fact that men at Citigroup were making much more money than women. As a global company and the third-largest U.S.-based bank, it needs to do better across the board.
Suggestions for improvements
The company announced that it would promote more women to top levels of management – the bank now aims to fill executive roles from assistant vice president to managing director with women for a goal of women holding 40% of these positions by 2021. The company seems well on its way to achieving those numbers, filling 31 percent of the managing director positions with women in the Asia-Pacific region.
Along with putting more women in leadership roles, the company is also taking the direct and straightforward step of raising the pay of women to appropriate levels for their positions. The goal is a complete balance of salaries.
The circumstances will vary
Different companies have different challenges to achieving pay equity. Small- and medium-sized companies do not need to worry as much about a global balance if the company is based solely in the Northeast, but the gender and minority issues remain. Those with concerns about fair hiring practices and pay equity at their company should speak with a business and employment law attorney about the specifics of their issues. These legal professionals can then provide knowledgeable guidance on the right way to institute any needed changes. They can also help hold companies accountable if hiring practices and pay are not equitable for all who work there.