Citibank’s Advice to Women: Grow a Pair


Follow-up post to this whole blogosphere hullabaloo. And the follow-up to the follow-up.

[update] Commenter Jessica writes below that

As a female employee at Citi, I have one of these on my desk. They were NOT handed out by the HR department, but rather by the Head of Diversity, Patricia David, who is no longer with the firm. (Currently at JP Morgan I believe.) They are handed out at workshops geared towards women, often hosted by “Women’s Councils” that exist in various Citi locations.

While interviewing at Citibank, my friend stole something from their office. He doesn’t know why he did it. He just did. When he showed what he filched to friends, some were outraged at Citi, others just found it strange and funny. Post your reactions below.

[update] My rationale and defense for posting the photo rests on the fact that this card is not confidential information and it’s…thought-provoking. Releasing something like this on the web, the wild, wild west of all mediums, however, has the danger of distortion and exaggeration. Just imagine a game of telephone with thousands of people, some don’t listen carefully while others are just mildly retarded. So I clarified some things with my source who passed me the photo.

Citi had these cards lying on every desk in the HR department, a department dominated by women in many firms. According to my friend, this card was on some of the desks on a floor he suspects was the human resources department. It is unclear how these cards fit in with official company training material, how widely and to which employees Citibank distributed them, or the financial institution’s broader policy towards women in the workplace. I personally don’t doubt that Citibank takes its treatment of female employees very seriously and that this card was handed out with the best of intentions.

11. Grow Testicles

The ten points are taken from an actual book titled Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by a woman who earned a Ph.D. in psychology. At first, I thought the book was written in 1960. It was published in 2004. Amazon tells me customers who bought this book also bought: