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Citi Singapore adjusts gender wage gap, in line with global pay tweaks

Bank also lifts female representation at AVP to MD level to 36%; more needs to be done, says HR head

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Citi Singapore has adjusted the pay of women at its bank who, when compared with their male peers of equal work performance, did not receive equal compensation.

Singapore

CITI Singapore has adjusted the pay of women at its bank who, when compared with their male peers of equal work performance, did not receive equal compensation.

In numbers revealed to The Business Times on Wednesday, Citi further said that in Singapore, the bank's female representation at assistant vice president to managing director level roles has increased from 32 per cent in December 2017 to 36 per cent in December 2019.

Across the Asia-Pacific, Citi promoted 14 women, or 31 per cent out of the total 45 managing directors named in the region in December 2019. That's up from only eight in 2018, or 21 per cent.

The pay adjustment in Singapore for women is in line with the global tweaks made in 2019, where the bank found that women, despite delivering equal work performance against their male peers, did not get the same remuneration.

"While we have moved forward in our goals, more needs to be done," said Jorge Osorio, head of human resources, Citi Singapore. "We are committed to meet our global goal of having at least 40 per cent of women in these roles by 2021 and to provide a level playing field to all our employees to enable them to succeed."

This follows a global pay equity review conducted by Citi that was released in January 2019, which showed that women were paid on average 99 per cent of what men were paid on an adjusted basis. The adjusted pay gap refers to when pay - including base salary and bonuses - for equal work, has been adjusted for appropriate factors such as job function, level, and geography.

However, the unadjusted total compensation review showed that the median pay for women globally is 71 per cent of the median for men. This means the compensation is not adjusted for factors such as job function, level and geography.

The figures suggest that the gap - on an unadjusted basis - is mainly due to differences in gender representation at senior levels of the bank.

In turn, this reinforces the importance of increasing the representation of women and US minorities in senior and higher-paying roles at Citi, the bank said.

The fresh data also come as Singapore's Ministry of Manpower released a report this month showing that in Singapore, among full-time workers aged between 25 and 54, the unadjusted gender wage gap inched up from 16 per cent in 2002 to 16.3 per cent in 2018.

When differences in age, education, occupation, industry and the number of hours worked were accounted for, the adjusted gender wage gap fell from 8.8 per cent in 2002 to 6 per cent in 2018.

It also showed that there are more occupational segregation in 2018 than in 2002. Not only do women tend to be in lower-paying jobs compared to men, men also continue to be over-represented in higher-paying occupations.

Citi noted that in March 2018, the bank rolled out a "Maternity Matters" programme in Singapore to boost the support provided to female colleagues during their pregnancy, while they are on maternity leave and upon return to work. Statistics suggest that childbirth is related to the high female attrition in the workforce.

The bank also launched a #backtowork initiative in November 2019 in partnership with Mums@Work Singapore to encourage talented individuals who have taken time away from their careers and are interested in returning back to the workforce to join Citi. For the eight positions advertised, about 100 applications were received.

The bank said it is also investing to groom up-and-coming female talent, at different stages of their careers.