Citigroup programs ‘yellow ribbon’ program for IBM in California
Citigroup is offering a program for employees of the tech giant’s IBM-owned Palo Alto office to help them learn Mandarin Chinese and become more employable in the U.S. as they transition to new jobs.
The initiative, dubbed “The Yellow Ribbon,” is being offered by the New York-based global bank to help employees of its IBM-affiliated Palo Alto facility learn Mandarin.
“We are offering an incentive to employees who wish to work at our Palo Alto offices to learn Mandarin in the coming months,” a Citigroup spokeswoman said in a statement.
“This initiative will allow them to get a head start in their job search.”
While Mandarin isn’t the only language the bank is offering to its employees, the initiative aims to provide them with the skills they need to succeed in the job market.
“The language barrier is not an insurmountable barrier, and we recognize that Mandarin is a language that many employers have difficulty communicating with,” the bank said in the statement.
“If you have a Mandarin-speaking colleague in your team, we will give you a free Mandarin Chinese exam,” it added.
Employees who enroll in the program can choose to participate by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Job Interview.”
The bank said it will work with the Chinese embassy to help Chinese students get the exams.
“I think it’s important that we recognize our own culture and our own history and our cultural differences with the Mandarin language,” IBM CEO Ginni Rometty told ABC News last month.
“But we also want our employees to feel comfortable with themselves and to know that we value them as human beings,” she added.