Investing in Systems Change

Launched in 2014, Pathways to Progress is a job skills-building initiative that addresses the persistent, global issue of youth unemployment. Through a combination of Citi Foundation philanthropic investments, Citi employee volunteers, career development opportunities at Citi, and research, Pathways to Progress aims to address the skills mismatch and equip young people, particularly those from underserved communities, with the skills and networks needed to succeed in today’s rapidly changing economy.

In 2020 Citi Foundation doubled down efforts to improve economic and employment opportunities for young people in underserved communities around the world and young people of color in the U.S. by investing an additional $100 million in Pathways. With this intentional focus, grant investments target organizations that are training some of the most underrepresented youth, including women of color for careers in in-demand sectors, like technology.

The Citi Foundation has supported NPower since 2002 through a series of projects that have aimed to shift the gender paradigm of underrepresented women in technology, including increasing the enrollment of Black and Latinx women in NPower tech training programs as part of the 40 by 22 initiative.

To help ensure the work propelled by 40 by 22 is sustained, in 2021 the Citi Foundation became a founding partner of the Command Shift Coalition, a movement comprised of corporate tech leaders that together through collective action are helping the sector as a whole advance institutional practices that more effectively recruit young women of color, with approaches that include driving career advancement, wage equity and growing mentoring networks.

The Citi Foundation’s longtime collaboration with NPower has always possessed a strategic vision looking not only at short-term solutions, but systemic change. Direct support to equip young women for tech careers prepares these women for jobs, but supporting an enabling environment creates a place for the pipeline to connect to, allowing women to achieve their career aspirations.

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