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And from the US… is Citigroup using the economic downturn to engage in massive gendered firings?

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last week, Citigroup has been accused
of intentionally overlooking female employees for promotions, raises,
and other company benefits. Filed on behalf of six women, it seeks class
action status and unspecified damages.

According to a report by Women’s Rights, “Citigroup has a history of “boys club” hiring and promoting practices,
and looking at their high-ranking committees — 5 women to 39 men on the
Senior Leadership Committee and 19 men and no women on the
Executive Committee — gives you a pretty good idea of what even the most
capable senior-level women leaders are up against when it comes to
advancing within the financial conglomerate. I’d also be remiss if I
didn’t note that Citibank was recently the subject of another lawsuit
after they fired a female employee for “being too sexy.”
The current suit states that at least 50 women have complained about
the sexist atmosphere (either on their own or someone else’s behalf)
since early 2007, many of whom then faced retaliation from the company.”

Just as David Jones has recently learned here in Australia, and Citigroup may be find out, there’s an important message for employers in these high profile cases:  the time has come to put an end to this behaviour, once and for all, or risk a lasting impact on your brand reputation.


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