Citi Pakistan celebrated Diversity Week from 24 September to 28 September across the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. A number of exciting events were organised, ensuring employee engagement to represent the diverse nuances within the franchise in Pakistan. The week kick-started with a Townhall for the employees, with CCO & MD Arif Usmani. During this meeting, best practices regarding diversity at Citi were discussed. Additionally this provided a forum for employees to raise questions and concerns regarding Diversity at the Workplace.
Following this, a Bring Your Kids to Work Day was celebrated, for employees’ children to visit their parent’s workplace and meet with various colleagues. An art competition was also held for the children and the three best posters were given prizes. Simultaneously, there was a Parenting Session for employees and their partners, led by a Senior Medical Officer, Dr Zeba Alvi from the Central Bank. This gave the employees/parents an opportunity to share their experiences, apprehensions and success stories during an interactive, informal session at the bank.
Next, Citi Pakistan celebrated a Cultural Dress Day during which each department chose a theme to represent a particular culture. Ideas ranged from ethnic and national themes, to Basant (kite flying), Cowboy and Indie Rock amongst others. Departments were decorated and employees dressed according to the same theme. The day involved lots of colour, music and entertainment for all the employees.
According to Aziz Rahman, Citi Pakistan’s Corporate Banking Head, “The participation of Citi Pakistan employees with full gusto and pride in the various Diversity Week events was impressive and showed how each one of us has fully embraced diversity as a core value of our organisation.”
Finally, the highlight of Diversity Week for Pakistan was ‘Audaciti’, an in-house talent hunt, similar to the concept of American/Indian Idol. Employees were given the opportunity to rehearse and showcase any talent they had, ranging from classical and pop singing, to playing an instrument, to stand-up comedy and even a Michael Jackson dance imitation. The real surprise of the evening was a tabla (classical musical instrument) performance by CCO and MD Arif Usmani. The evening, which was hosted in the gardens of the bank house in Karachi, turned out to be a huge success and was attended by over 400 employees from Citi Pakistan.
CCO and MD Arif Usmani said, “Audaciti was an extremely innovative event that allowed us to discover immense hidden talent amongst our people. It was an entertaining evening, accompanied by a strong message for all our colleagues: that we appreciate and celebrate the diverse talents of each and every individual who is a part of Citi, irrespective of background. Such an event must be made a regular feature of Diversity Week.”
Diversity Week culminated in raising employee morale at a time that the Pakistan franchise is experiencing considerable restructuring. Engaging the staff in such a proximal capacity during each event fostered feelings of goodwill and brand loyalty across the bank. It brought together individuals from varied backgrounds on to a single platform, demonstrating the fact that at Citi, diversity is the sense that no matter who you are, where you come from or what your background is – there is a place for you!