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As chief diversity officer for Citigroup, Ana DuarteMcCarthy ’81 is responsible for shaping the financial services company’s policy and practices on diversity. Her position focuses on management accountability, attracting talent, workforce development, and the work environment.

“I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with employees who, in addition to their fulltime roles, are involved in our diversity initiatives around the world,” she says. “Keeping up the momentum on diversity and inclusion in challenging business cycles, and my long commute, however, can make things challenging.”

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs named McCarthy the 2007 Ultimate Hispanic Executive, an honor recognizing professional achievement and strong commitment to service.

The biology graduate began to work with aspects of diversity in graduate school, where she majored in multicultural counseling and organizational psychology.

“Post graduate school, I worked in higher education for 10 years, running an opportunity program that focused on ensuring access and equity for academically and socio-economically disadvantaged students who demonstrated potential to succeed,” she says. “Through the work, I saw how systemic barriers can inhibit and prohibit the most talented individuals from succeeding and how changes can help address these factors. Similar work was emerging in the private sector and after 10 years in higher education, I transitioned to my current work.”

McCarthy found her time at Lafayette the perfect primer for her job, which often deals with gender equality. The College had begun admitting women in 1970.

“The class of ’81 was one of the early classes in which women were being integrated into campus, so, having come from an all-girls high school, I found the disparities in the infrastructure for men and women alarming,” she explains. “While at Lafayette, I participated in the formation of a sorority, which provided us with our own social structure. While the main objective was to have fun, it did provide a good outlet, and it’s wonderful to see that Delta Psi, which in our senior year became Pi Beta Phi, has sustained [itself] after nearly 25 years. Now, 25 years later, one of the major Citigroup diversity efforts is our women’s initiative, which has similar objectives — creating a network for women to support them, among other things, in professional advancement.”

She also sees similarities in other areas.

“Twenty-five years ago, there were few people of minority background at Lafayette, and being ‘one of few’ had its challenges,” says McCarthy. “It’s good to see that the current administration has made diversity a top priority to support the future growth and sustainability of the College.”

Professors and administrators helped her grow at Lafayette.

“Dean Alice Sivulich was terrific. She was very supportive of women on campus and initiatives involving women,” says McCarthy. “Dr. [Shyamal] Mujumdar [now Kreider Professor of Biology] was also influential because he hired me as a lab instructor and afforded me the opportunity to develop platform skills.”

McCarthy served as chair of her class’ reunion last year.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles