10. REDUCED INEQUALITIES

The Citigroup division beset by sexual-harassment claims was also the worst performer among big banks

Written by Amanda

A culture of harassment and discrimination plagues Citigroup’s equities-trading division, Bloomberg reported. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Bloomberg reported new details about sexual harassment in Citigroup’s equities division.

  • A former managing director filed a lawsuit last year, saying the toxic culture persisted until 2022.

  • During that time, the division underperformed, lagging behind other Wall Street banks.

One unit at Citigroup has built a less-than-stellar reputation over the years.

The bank’s equities division, which helps hedge funds execute trades, has been plagued by a culture of “persistent harassment and discrimination,” Bloomberg reported after interviewing 22 people who “worked in or closely with the equities division.”

The report recounts numerous examples of a toxic boys’-club environment where women were rated by their appearances, objectified, and subjected to lewd discussions and unwanted advances. Some kept quiet out of fear of retaliation. Others who spoke up about their experiences said they were dismissed by a corporate culture that valued a small “in crowd” and ignored others.

Business Insider reached out to Citigroup for comment. Representatives for the bank said it had no further comment, but Mark Costiglio, a spokesperson for Citigroup, told Bloomberg that its “efforts to foster an inclusive and equitable workplace culture never stop, and ensuring that our standards are well understood and complied with by everyone at Citi is a continuous, proactive process.”

“We provide colleagues with a number of avenues to raise concerns in confidence, and when substantiated we will take appropriate action, up to and including termination of employment. While we will not comment on individual internal matters, simply put, where warranted, we exit employees who fail to meet our high standards of respectful treatment,” he added.

Bloomberg’s investigation follows a lawsuit that Ardith Lindsey, a former managing director at Citigroup, filed last year. She said in the lawsuit that she “faced horrifying sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexual assault during her tenure at the firm” that has “derailed her career — and her life.”

Among her complaints, Lindsey said she was coerced into a relationship with a senior male colleague who made “grotesque and violent sexual comments” about her and hounded her with “hundreds of text messages and incessant phone calls” after she ended the relationship. She also said she was repeatedly subjected to “extreme” sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, as well as pressured to attend strip clubs where “male managers used women solely for entertainment.”

One derivatives trader told Bloomberg about an incident during a client dinner where a colleague “reached under the table and put his hand on her leg.” Another colleague asked the trader why she didn’t wear “sexier shoes.” When the trader approached her higher-ups about the incident, a female executive told her to shrug it off. Six other people who reportedly complained about their experiences to senior colleagues felt similarly let down by their colleagues’ responses.

Meanwhile, the division, which is relatively small within Citigroup, has also underperformed, Bloomberg reported. The unit’s trading revenue trails behind the other big banks on Wall Street.

Despite the sordid history within its equities division, Citigroup has made strides to create a more tolerant environment compared to others in its industry, Bloomberg reported. The firm has also been more accepting of flexible-work arrangements, which have boosted the number of women in the workforce, than other financial firms, Fortune reported. The bank also appointed Jane Fraser as its CEO in 2021 — the first female CEO of a major bank in the United States.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Source: finance.yahoo.com

About the author

Amanda

Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai