Citigroup picks up pace appointing female managing directors in Asia

[HONG KONG] Citigroup Inc boosted the pace of promotions for female managing directors in Asia.

The New York-based bank promoted 14 women, or 31 per cent out of the total 45 managing directors (MD) named in Asia this year, according to a memo sent by Peter Babej, chief executive officer of Asia-Pacific. That's up from only eight last year, or 21 per cent, according to spokesman James Griffiths.

Most of the promotions in the region were made in the markets, corporate and investment banking businesses, with 17 managing directors named, according to the memo. Other appointments were spread across legal, retail and other back office functions.

But only two of the women moved up this round were in the markets division, where seven men were promoted. Only one woman was appointed MD in corporate and investment banking.

Citigroup and its global banking competitors are seeking to close a long-standing gender gap. The bank is targeting to have women in at least 40 per cent of its assistant vice-presidents roles and the levels above.

It stated last year that it aims to have an equal number of male and female managing directors at its markets division in Asia within three to five years, up from a 80:20 split in favor of men.

That effort is on track, Mr Griffiths said.