2007 Catalyst Award Celebrates 20th Anniversary Recognizing Innovative Initiatives that Advance Women and Business

Release by Cataylst.org


NEW YORK, NY (January 24, 2007) – Celebrating its 20th anniversary recognizing corporate initiatives that advance women and business, Catalyst today announced that The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, andScotiabank are the recipients of the 2007 Catalyst Award. Since 1987, Catalyst has honored strategic business initiatives that result in the advancement of women in the workplace. The 2007 winners are four exceptional initiatives that have measurably advanced women and diversity in business.

“Over the past twenty years, we’ve seen winning initiatives evolve from stand-alone programs to strategic imperatives that drive business success,” said Ilene H. Lang, President of Catalyst. “By publicly celebrating these triumphs, we encourage others to embrace women’s advancement as a source of competitive business advantage.”

This year’s winning initiatives are particularly significant against a backdrop in which, according to recent Catalyst research, women are still vastly underrepresented in senior leadership positions and on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. Catalyst Award-winning initiatives, past and present, lead their organizations and industries to new ways of working and doing business.

As in previous years, the four winning initiatives were reviewed and judged rigorously on criteria including business rationale, senior leadership support, communication, measurable results, accountability, originality, and replicability. In creating accountability, demanding more representative management teams, empowering women employees to take charge of their careers and advancement, and requiring a steadfast commitment to diversity, this year’s winning initiatives exemplify the Catalyst mission – to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work.


Winning Initiatives Create Opportunities for Advancement of Women and Business

Goldman Sachs designed its Senior Women’s Initiative to increase the number of women business leaders globally. By supporting women in their career growth through recruitment, engagement, advancement, and retention, the initiative works to eliminate potential barriers to advancement. It enhances networking opportunities for senior women and dramatically adds resources to and improves the process by which advancement decisions are made. Thus far, Goldman Sachs’ Senior Women’s Initiative significantly increased the number of women managing directors (MDs) and partners: among the successes, globally, the number of women partners has doubled from 2001 to 2006.

A strategic support and resource group, PepsiCo’s Women of Color Multicultural Alliancefocuses on attracting, retaining, and developing women of color in the middle and senior management ranks at PepsiCo. This initiative highlights women of color as a strategic priority and works on building deeper, more authentic relationships across all levels. The success of the program is clear: key findings include that, from 2002-2006, the number of women of color at the senior management/director/VP level has increased; representation for women of color on the board of directors has doubled.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Unique People Experience (UPE) was created to reduce turnover, maximize value for PwC’s clients, and increase the productivity of the firm’s staff. All PwC partners and staff are held accountable for UPE and are responsible for fostering a culture of inclusion for all. A major element of UPE is redesigning the traditional way work gets done to a more team-based approach where groups of partners and staff serve a portfolio of clients. This new structure has resulted in greater satisfaction and lower turnover rates. The initiative paid off: among the results, women’s representation at the partner level has increased 30 percent from 2001 to 2006.

Through research which demonstrated that women had the skills, proven performance levels, and aspirations to contribute at more senior levels, Scotiabank found a strong business case to support the creation of its Advancement of Women Initiative (AoW). The organization’s most senior women started this business-focused imperative that improved women’s representation by leveraging existing processes, programs, and platforms, thereby reinforcing the business value of the work. Through this initiative, Scotiabank has significantly improved senior women’s representation at the bank: the number of women at all senior levels – from vice president and above – nearly doubled from 2003 to 2006.

These Award-winning companies will present in-depth discussions of their initiatives at the 2007 Catalyst Awards Conference, sponsored by General Motors Corporation and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on March 21, 2007. Later that evening,Tony Comper, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group, will chair the 2007 Annual Catalyst Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria, which will honor this year’s Award winners. The dinner is sponsored by Shell Oil Company, winner of the 2004 Catalyst Award for its cutting edge initiative, which changed the environment for women’s advancement and increased women’s representation at the senior and middle management levels. The dinner typically attracts more than 1,500 guests representing 260 companies and more than 75 CEOs and leaders of major corporations and firms.

For complete descriptions of this year’s Catalyst Award-winning initiatives and previous Award winners, please visit         www.catalyst.org/award/winners.shtm. For information on the Catalyst Awards Conference, please visit www.catalyst.org.

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