Citi’s Record Promotions for Women Still Just 29% of Total

Citigroup Inc. promoted 70 women in its latest class of managing directors, the most ever but still less than a third of the total.

The 29% of women in the 241-person group was a slight improvement from last year’s 28%, according to the company. This year’s class also included five Black managing directors, up from three a year ago.

The firmwide promotions were announced in an internal memo to employees this month by Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat and Jane Fraser, who will take over the top job next year. The New York-based bank has been trying for years to improve the diversity of its ranks and narrow the pay gap between men and women in its global workforce.

“Radical transparency certainly makes you uncomfortable, but it’s important to get out of the old habits,” Fraser said in the company’s most recent diversity report. “You’ve got to shake your thinking up and do something differently, and that’s why it makes a difference.”

Beyond internal promotions, Citigroup this year has also hired a number of female executives for top positions across the bank, including Pam Habner to lead its branded cards unit in the U.S. and Titi Cole as head of operations and fraud prevention in the consumer bank. The lender also nabbed Jennifer Taylor from Bank of America Corp. to oversee compliance efforts in its institutional business.

The firm has said it wants to increase the number of women and minorities it employs at the assistant vice president to managing director level. It has said it’s aiming to increase representation for those levels to at least 40% for women and 8% for black employees in the U.S. by next year.

Citigroup had earlier announced the 153 people in its institutional-clients group that had earned the title. Within that division, the firm’s traders took home most of the promotions.

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