Black Americans have shaped financial history since Maggie Lena Walker founded and presided over the first bank to serve black organizations. 100 years later, people of color (POC) continue to make lasting contributions to the industry.
Although many advances have been made in POC in banking and finance, it remains at a disadvantage. The fact of the matter is that POC is underrepresented in the financial industry and has a harder time breaking into the industry than others.
As a company that emphasizes the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Citi is keenly aware of these issues. The City also knows that if these trends continue, the entire future Maggie Walker legacy could cease to exist. Worse, the contributions and ideas that these POCs would have contributed to the world of finance never saw the light of day. This lack of input and improvement will slow the financial world as we know it.
Citi has ensured that POCs create spaces that not only feel welcome but also motivate them to succeed, creating a virtuous cycle for individuals, Citi as an organization and the financial services industry at large. To create this space, Citi has rolled out a series of initiatives to pave the way for her POC in finance. The first is about recruitment strategy.
HBCU Recruitment and Presence
To hire smart people, you have to find them first. That’s why Citi decided to develop an ambitious recruiting strategy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). It’s not just free koozies and stickers. Citi appears on campus, sometimes with alumni of the school, to share a background on its commitment to diversity and inclusion, to educate students about opportunities, and to demonstrate that Citi is a company that values the success of its diverse workforce. is showing.
Below, a global banking analyst shared his impressions of Citi during his undergraduate visit to Howard University.
By continuing to develop meaningful relationships with HBCU students, Citi is building a workforce that includes highly talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.
HBCU Alumni Network
By creating groups and communities where people with similar backgrounds can come together and share ideas, companies can create new environments that support employee growth. As such, Citi established his HBCU Alumni Network. As you can imagine, the HBCU Alumni Network is a group in Citi that allows various his HBCU alumni to connect, network and help each other grow. For many, it has helped them succeed and learn in many ways.
Participating in the HBCU Alumni Network has taught me the importance of being proactive when joining a team. I was tasked with working with another team her members to initiate contact with 19 schools. He had been working at City longer than I had, so I wasn’t sure if I should wait to hear from him first, but he worked up the courage to set up our first meeting. He said he was impressed with how quickly I took charge and laid a strong foundation for the work he completed together. I have learned to never doubt my abilities. Whenever there is an opportunity to showcase my skills and leadership, I jump at it!
Global Consumer Banking Analyst
By joining the HBCU Alumni Network, she not only gained more experience and confidence in herself but also made a good impression on her colleagues.
Black heritage network
Similar to the HBCU Alumni Network, the City has a Black Heritage Inclusion Network. Within this group, Black professionals can come together, share ideas, seek mentors, and share space with people who are essentially like them.
After graduation, the number of groups and organizations you can join to socialize, develop yourself and feel welcome is halved. When these groups become unavailable, some individuals, especially in the corporate world, face problems that reduce their productivity and, most importantly, their self-esteem.
POCs in leadership positions
One very direct way to help POCs succeed in financial services is to connect and grow POCs in leadership and management positions. In doing so, you not only diversify your team’s leadership, but you also create mentors, role models, and individuals that people with similar backgrounds can identify with. As a result, students and job seekers are more likely to apply for corporate jobs.
As he said, it is comforting to be grown up and trained by people like you.
A corporate banking analyst had a similar experience to his mentor during his tenure at Howard.
When I was a freshman at Howard, my senior mentor had a full-time offer at Citi’s Investment Banking and was a Citi Campus Ambassador. She recommended me to the Freshman Discovery program and I ended up joining.At the time, I wasn’t very familiar with the City or Wall Street as a whole, so what to expect? I didn’t really know what to do. But when I arrived I was completely enchanted by the experience and completely immersed myself in it. At the end of the program I was sad to leave and realized that here I thought it was my place.
Corporate Banking Analyst
She may never have made it to Citi if Citi had not placed her mentor in that Campus Ambassador position. Get a talent pipeline that attracts the best talent from A pipeline that might find you one day.