Jennifer Lowney, Hall of Femme 2020

Head of corporate communications, Citi

What word would you use to describe your childhood and why?
Busy. I have seven siblings and growing up, I lived on a street with lots of kids. There was always something going on.

Tell us about your most embarrassing fail. How did you recover?
Life as a working mother of three, with a working husband, is full of fails — some more consequential than others. A recent personal example comes to mind. I recently took a day off to move and was supposed to attend a parent/student event that same night. I was caught up in unpacking and my middle son waited until just when the event was over to point out that we had missed it. Argh! I apologized profusely, wondered (in a somewhat annoyed fashion) at the apparent lack of guilt my husband exhibited and then did what any self-respecting guilt-ridden parent would do — offered double dessert.

Any real-life women or men you look up to?
Many. I’ve been truly blessed to be surrounded by people personally and professionally who have always encouraged me to be a better person. My mother tops my list — she didn’t have a career outside the home but she always encouraged me to pursue a professional career. Really, she gave me no choice, if I’m being honest. From the time I was in grade school when nothing but straight As were acceptable, she instilled in me a work ethic and commitment to the highest standards that I will forever be grateful for.

Favorite song and why?
“Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. Because I’m a good Jersey girl.

Tell us about your hobby.
I love reading mindless romance novels. I consume huge amounts of business, political and financial news over the course of each day, but when I have downtime, I enjoy easy, happy reading.

Finish the sentence: To ensure career advancement and pay parity for women, I will...
I will encourage open and honest conversations among the women on my team and who I mentor about compensation and advancement requirements and opportunities. Starting the conversation is often the hardest part and I know so many women who avoid that critical first step. I want the women I work with to always know I will be receptive to that discussion and supportive and honest about these topics.

What is it about this industry that frustrates the hell out of you?
In an industry where women are generally over-represented, I find it frustrating that female representation in the most senior communications roles isn’t higher.

When have you seen this industry or your organization really shine?
Citi is committed to being a bold champion of gender equality and the firm has been transparent about where we have work to do. In our public disclosures about both our adjusted and raw pay gaps, I am proud that we did something most other companies haven’t been willing to do. I am even more excited about what’s being done across the firm to improve the numbers and what that will mean for the thousands of highly talented women at Citi and, hopefully, ultimately across the industry.

What is your golden rule at work?
Find a way. Many people have good ideas and a desire to support others, but only those who execute deserve credit.

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