Citigroup reported its third consecutive quarter of profit today which is big news, but the 12 percent government owned corporation is facing a serious accusation: Using company-wide layoffs during the economic crisis to unjustly clear out female employees to save the jobs of less-qualified men. Yikes!
The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, focuses on the November 2008 layoffs and points a finger at Citigroup for taking government bailout money while continuing “pervasive discrimination and retaliation” against the female workforce. The lawsuit cites that the men are paid better and women lose out on raises and promotions. It goes on to say that the “boys club” has been dominating middle and senior management roles as evidenced by Citigroup’s Senior Leadership Committee–consisting of 39 men and 5 women. Their Executive Committee has 19 members–all men. Maybe men just coincidentally do a better job?
The lawsuit states:
Given this disparity in the most senior-level positions, it is not surprising to find that the ‘boys club’ filters down through the management ranks to affect all senior and junior level professional positions at Citigroup.
Citigroup fired back in a statement and said many of the claims by the women “are either totally inaccurate or selectively incomplete. The facts do not support their claims of gender discrimination.” Citigroup says they pride themselves on being fair and have had a “long-standing commitment to equal employment practices and to provide a professional and respectful workplace.”
‘We are disciplined, focused, consistent and vigilant in regard to our diversity-related efforts,’ the company said, pointing out that women in top positions included the chief executive officer of CitiFinancial North America, chief compliance officer, chief innovation officer, chief auditor, and chief marketing officer.
Let’s see how the lawsuit plays out.