Citi Hit with Gender-Bias Charge

October 13, 2010 ( – Six women have filed suit against Citigroup with allegations the bank ran an outdated "boys club" that illegally discriminated against women over pay, work assignments, and promotions.

A Reuters news report said five of the women were among thousands laid off in November 2008 amid the banking crisis, while “in most circumstances Citigroup retained less qualified male employees,” according to the suit.  

Reuters said the sixth plaintiff is still a Citigroup employee; she alleges that she was subjected to comments offensive to women and that she was demoted after returning from maternity leave.

“The outdated ‘boys club’ is alive and well at Citigroup,” the lawsuit said, pointing out that Citigroup’s Senior Leadership Committee is dominated by men—39 men to five women—and that all 19 members of the executive committee are men.

“Given this disparity in the most-senior-level positions, it is not surprising to find that the ‘boys club’ filters down through the management ranks to affect all senior- and junior-level professional positions,” the lawsuit said, according to Reuters.

A Citigroup spokeswoman, Danielle Romero-Apsilos, said in a statement to Reuters that the bank had not yet been served with the complaint. “Citi has a long-standing commitment to equal employment practices and to provide a professional and respectful workplace free of unlawful discrimination,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

The women are seeking class-action status for women currently and formerly employed at Citigroup at levels including managing director, director, vice president, assistant vice president, associate, and analyst between February 2006 and the present.

The case is Amy Bartoletti vs. Citigroup Inc., USDC. SDNY, No. 10-6829.