Aligning Business With Civil Society

Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Inclusive Finance, provides deep insight on what it means to be an Impact Executive, inspiring generations of employees at Citi and advancing progress for the LGBTQ community. 

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 6–3, ruled that federal law prohibits employers from terminating employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We are also facing another moment of justice through the Black Lives Matter protests, which many believe is the civil rights movement of this generation. Annibale recognizes that the LGBTQ community is an intersectional community. “I realize, and we realize at Citi, that all of our journeys are not experienced the same way,” he says. 

The private sector cannot shy away from these challenges. Companies are expected to take leadership roles, especially at a time when political leadership is so questionable.

“I think we realize being progressive internally, having values and setting goals, just isn’t enough,” Annibale says. “If you are an iconic name, if you are a major employer, to be silent is to be complicit in many people eyes.”

Whether working on immigrant integration programs, LGBTQ rights, or affordable housing, Annibale has integrated solutions into Citi’s business, making sure they are relevant to all  stakeholders.  In 2014, Bob was honored by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change for his work leading Citi’s programs promoting immigrant integration and citizenship in the United States.

“When business aligns with civil society and public leaders, it’s a really powerful thing” he says.

It is important to set targets and have passions. Most importantly, leaders must possess the discipline and commitment to pursue them.

“It’s not enough to be passionate, you’ve got to find out the tools to make and execute,” Annibale says, arguing that business leaders have the opportunity to prove that the right thing is financially and economically sustainable too. 

You can watch the full discussion here: