Managing Director | Country Business, Global Consumer Bank Citi Australia
As the Head of Citi’s Consumer Bank in Australia, what does ‘flexibility’ at work actually mean to you?
Flexibility is all about creating an environment where employees can work the way they need to get the job done. For me, getting your work done is more important than sitting at a desk or being physically present in the office. We need to do everything we can to support our teams in working flexibly so they can do their job as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Many of your team members work flexibly. What benefits has this brought to your business?
Greater flexibility results in a more engaged and motivated team. My business has adopted an Agile way of working, which allows us to work more collaboratively and flexibly. This environment has encouraged our people to work in a way that is more suitable for them, and I’ve noticed the team is more committed, productive and engaged.
Flexibility means different things for different employees, and Citi does a good job of accommodating these differences. For instance, one senior leader is about to go on a 9-month sabbatical after the birth of his first child. Another manager works from home one day a week so she can teach a morning workout class at a local park. At Citi we understand that work is a thing you do, not a place you go.
You are also the Executive Sponsor for our Citi Women’s Network. Why are you passionate about championing women in the workplace?
It’s a very simple equation for me – research has shown over and over again that more diverse groups make better business decisions. At Citi we are committed to making the best decisions for our customers. I think that when a business’ workforce reflects the customers they serve, they will always deliver products and services their customers really want. Finally, if we aren’t hiring a roughly 50-50 gender mix, it means we are missing out on recruiting some of the best talent in the industry.
What is your strategy on confronting gender stereotypes and increasing the ratio of women in senior leadership roles?
We all need to be responsible for combating any kind of discrimination in the workplace. That’s why I am committed to ensuring all levels of the team, especially my leadership team, are trained in recognising and addressing both conscious and unconscious bias. Additionally, I have publically committed Citi’s Consumer Bank to equal gender representation at all levels by 2020. I think publicly acknowledging these targets is the best way to really move the needle on this important issue.
Why do you believe Citi is a great place to work?
The people – we are a passionate, motivated bunch who love to get things done for our customers. We have robust discussions, challenge the status quo and can really make a difference in Australian Banking and Financial services. That kind of energy and enthusiasm makes us a great team to be a part of!