Alexandra Taylor

Director | Head of Human Resources, Citi Australia and New Zealand

Citi Australia

As Head of Human Resources for Citi Australia and New Zealand, what’s your philosophy when it comes to building a diverse, flexible workforce?

The business case for diversity is well understood across the industry - our clients and customers are diverse, our communities are diverse and our organisations will thrive with a diverse workplace.

But it goes further than that for me. I want to create an environment where every employee can perform at their best: where they start each day knowing they are part of a business where their opinion is valued and respected, where they are able to learn from others and where they are comfortable being themselves. We can’t achieve that without a diverse workforce. Having the right people in the right roles is crucial and it is important that the organisation flexes its approach to secure diverse talent, whether that means purchasing additional leave, leaving earlier to train for a marathon or working from home a day a week to avoid a commute.

What do you think sets Citi apart from its competitors when it comes to attracting and retaining diverse talent?

Citi is truly global and our workforce reflects that.

In Australia, we are small enough that we can offer a unique approach to each employee’s well-being but large enough that we can take advantage of career opportunities around the world. In my HR team for example, we have individuals on international assignments as well as offshore hires in permanent roles, and in a small team of 25, there are over 8 nationalities. The size of our local business also allows us to provide greater breadth and complexity of experience. While we may not have the scale of some of our local competitors, we more than make up for that in the scope of our roles.

Citi places great emphasis on internal talent and mobility, with over 50% of open roles going to internal talent. I’m incredibly proud of the talent we export globally within Citi every year and it’s very satisfying to see the wonderful reputation the “Aussie Alumni” have built within Citi’s global organisation. It talks to the depth of talent we have in the Australian market and our culture of encouraging our people to explore opportunities offshore. If you are interested in a global career, look no further. The world is your oyster at Citi.

Attracting more women into the workplace is a key area of focus for Citi. What are some of the strategies you’re using to do this?

Gender representation continues to be a topic of much discussion and debate. Despite a huge focus across our industry, it is clear there is still more work to do.

I’m excited about some of the changes we are implementing in 2018 to source more great female talent for Citi Australia. With new sourcing channels such as FlexCareers, and a more sophisticated use of recruitment data, we are better placed than ever before to find female talent in Australia. Once we initiate an open conversation and stay true to a flexible approach, the opportunities do the rest.

As Australia and New Zealand Head of HR, how have you personally managed your role whilst raising two children?

Flexibility has been the key to ensuring I have been able to maintain and build my career since becoming a mother. I’ve utilised a number of different flexible work practices over the years to suit my family – part time, working from home and flexible start times. These have enabled me to keep my professional skills up to date against a backdrop of enormous change in our working environment.

Don’t get me wrong – life is still a juggle! But having a workplace where it’s considered common practice to integrate my personal and professional commitments makes the world of difference.

Alexandra taylor