Bangalore: Citi India has ranked in the top ten of Avatar and Seramount’s Best Companies for Women in India 2022 (BCWI) list for the second year in a row. It has also been placed in the topmost category (Champions of Inclusion, which is awarded to the ten most inclusive firms in India) of the Most Inclusive Companies Index (MICI) – India 2022 list for the second consecutive year.

The awards recognize Citi’s decade-long efforts to ensure a more inclusive workforce, with robust policies to not only promote diversity hiring, but also encourage its people to bring their true selves to work. It is a validation of the relentless focus on sensitizing employees towards gender neutrality and respect for colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

Balaji Nuthalapadi, Head of South Asia Operations & Technology and Citi Solutions Centers, India, said, “This recognition is a testament to the progress we have made in creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment. Our focus on hiring, developing and retaining our diverse talent has yielded meaningful and tangible outcomes. We have taken a systematic approach spanning our policies, benefits and measures to ensure equity. Inclusion is fostered through employee involvement via our affinity networks and continuous sensitization efforts, which together create a work environment where every individual is valued, respected and enabled to contribute to their fullest potential.”

Citi values diversity and equity, and fosters inclusion via people-centered initiatives and a meritocratic culture. Unbiased and equal treatment of both employees and potential hires, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability, is ingrained as part of its culture. The fact that Citi India is included on both lists for the second year in a row is evidence of the significant strides it has taken in advancing diversity, equality and inclusion.

Over the last decade, Citi India has made tremendous progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion, which includes the establishment of the Citi India Pride Network, introducing demographic questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in the annual Voice of the Employee survey, and extending employee benefits to all domestic partners of employees, including LGBTQ+ partners. It has eight affinity networks across the four key strands of diversity, namely Gender, LGBTQ+, Disability and Generations. These networks ensure that the unique needs of colleagues from diverse backgrounds are adequately represented.

Citi has best-in-class policies, benefits, and guidelines, such as Performance Rating Protection for women coming back from maternity, as part of the Maternity Matters program, to provide holistic support to expectant and returning mothers. Child care benefits and day care tie-ups help young mothers to transition back to work. Citi has pioneered the implementation of the 180-day long maternity leave (way before it was passed as a legislation), transparently disclosing, and addressing gender gaps in compensation. Last year, it launched the Return to Work program for women who joined Citi after a break of six months or more.

Recording consistently upward trend in its gender diversity representation metrics, Citi India achieved a +10% increase in grades above the level of AVP over the last three years. About 50% of campus recruits are young women graduates, while the overall gender diversity hiring numbers in 2021 stood at 38%.

The seventh edition of the Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) study was conducted in 2022 by Avtar, India’s premier diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions firm, in collaboration with Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media), now a division of EAB, a strategic professional services company committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace in the United States. The research has established itself as the most thorough Diversity analytics exercise conducted for corporate India throughout the course of its previous six iterations. Over 300 organizations participated in each research edition, which culminated in the alphabetical listing of the Top 10 and 100 Best Companies for Women.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, Avtar Group said, ““The results of the 7th edition of the Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI), the largest and the most comprehensive diversity analytics exercise in the country, conducted by Avtar in association with Seramount (Formerly Working Mother Media), are a glowing testimony to the relentless efforts of organizations in India towards including diversity talent. There has been an approximate 10% rise in women’s workforce participation from the time of the study’s inception, which today stands at a promising 34.8%. There is a steady pace of DEI progress in the Best Companies with 77% of them reporting an upsurge in their DEI momentum post covid. These are the companies that have reaped the fruit of raising the bar in their DEI efforts by way of increased operating profits. When the DEI best practices of these role model organizations go beyond their internal cultures to the ecosystem of vendors, partners, customers, and community we will create a society where our future generations can thrive and succeed.”