Building an Inclusive Culture
By Mark Mason, CFO, Institutional Clients Group February 14, 2019 12:30 PM
On January 29th, almost exactly one year after our inaugural inclusion event in 2018, Mike Corbat hosted Together at Citi: Building an Inclusive Culture, a town hall attended by and broadcast to colleagues from across the firm and around the world. With the co-leaders of our seven Affinity groups – Citi Women, Asian Heritage, Pride, Citi Salutes, Black Heritage, Hispanic/Latino Heritage and Disability: Enabling Diverse Abilities – we had a candid conversation on the importance of creating a culture of belonging.
I was proud to moderate that lively discussion, as our Affinity co-leads, many of whom are Mike’s direct reports, shared personal reflections on what they – and we – have learned over the past year with our audience.
In a nod to our launch event from last year, Mike recalled a statement I’d made – that “we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” By acknowledging the “disappointing number” associated with our publicly-disclosed gender pay gap – as well as noting that we still have a long way to go in achieving our representation goals – Mike set a frank and honest tone for the conversation to come. We were encouraged to make a mindset shift from being aware of the issues to taking action on them. And we were encouraged to realize that we must continue to do so not just in our roles as leaders of our respective business organizations, but also in our roles as Affinity co-leads.
To me, Inclusive Leadership means we’re not just up on that stage saying the right things, but that when we get back to our day jobs, we follow our words with our actions. It’s good for us to all recognize the considerable progress we’ve made on equality and inclusiveness, but we also need to remember how much work is left for us to do. We, along with the broader financial services industry, continue to lag other sectors with regard to our focus and progress on diversity and inclusion. We must and can do better. While we’ve made progress, attending and focusing on these types of sessions and conversations helps us to keep these issues in the forefront. That said, we all have an ongoing role to play in making our workplace and company more diverse and inclusive for everyone.