Citigroup Pays Men and Women the Same?

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) has faced outside pressure from interests that believe that, like many companies, it pays white male workers more than women and minorities. Citi tried to calm the speculation by releasing data that prove that critics are wrong with the results of a survey of 75,000 of its workers.

If the assessment by the huge financial firm is correct, it is one of the few large companies that pays women and minorities fairly and can prove it.

According to a blog post by Michael Murray, the head of Human Resources at Citi:

This year, we expanded on those efforts to assess pay at Citi when comparing women to men, and US minorities to non-minorities. As a starting point, this analysis was conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, and we accounted for a number of factors in our analysis to make the comparisons meaningful, including job function, level and geography. We found that women are paid on average 99% of what men are paid and minorities are paid on average 99% of what non-minorities are paid.

As part of this year’s compensation cycle, we are making appropriate increases to help close the gaps for both women and US minorities. We will also adjust compensation for other individuals where the analysis determined increases were warranted. We are committed to continuing to review compensation for pay equity and will continue this analysis in all other countries where we have employees.

If Citi already has a fair pay system, there would seem to be little reason to close the gap and make adjustments. Nevertheless, the Citi data show that the bank has been conscious of possible pay disparities for some time and made the necessary evaluations to keep compensation among its workers equal.

Citi’s revelation leaves most other large companies facing the question of why they did not act similarly a long time ago. Based on pay census data from public corporations that have released the results, Citi is in a small minority. That means it has set a high bar for others to clear.