Cityside Financial Case Study

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Case Questions
Managing Diversity at Cityside Financial Services

How well has the Sales Division at Cityside done in its diversity efforts? How well are they doing now?
Cityside was purchased by a racially diverse group of investors, and diversity was the mission from the beginning. It was decided that because of the community that Cityside serves, it would be in their best interests to increase diversity at its retail locations across all neighborhoods. In the two decades since it was acquired, Cityside succeeded in reaching its diversity goal in terms of the ethnic/gender makeup of the organization. However, the diversity of the sales division is not uniform across all departments. External deposits deals more with investment management and has a more white, wealthy client base. While the retail division is made up of mostly black employees who serve a mostly most client base. Retail and ED countered that each side couldn't do their job as well because of their race. Cityside appears to be using the “access-and-legitimacy” paradigm in an effort to access different segments of society. Employees with certain cultural and linguistic skills can understand and serve customers better and ultimately gain legitimacy with them, resulting in better business results. Employees at Cityside's Sale Division are at odds when it comes to who they should be serving. ED staff claim that any non-retail related business in the city should fall under their jurisdiction, and the retail side claims that ED should only concern themselves with their investment products and national client base. This has caused some clients to feel neglected and leave Cityside for another bank.

What explains the problems that Cityside is now encountering? What is the root cause (or causes)?

There is a theme of differentiation at Cityside where “their demographic characteristics match those of important constituents and markets (Thomas/Ely)”. This business model has given Cityside limited...
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