Media Announcements

1999 Catalyst Award Winners Move Women Up

Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Corning Incorporated, and TD Bank Financial Group have won the 1999 Catalyst Award for their exemplary initiatives to advance women into leadership. The three initiatives, each proven to be effective and successful, are diverse in their methods. Baxter focuses efforts on a Work and Life Strategic Initiative; Corning Incorporated's Women in Manufacturing focuses on moving women into manufacturing leadership positions; and TD Bank Financial Group's Advancing Together is a multi-tiered, systemic initiative that includes components on career development, succession planning, respect, and flexibility.

Colgate-Palmolive Chairman and CEO Reuben Mark will chair the Catalyst Awards Dinner and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell will present the awards to the CEO of each of the three companies at the awards ceremony at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York on March 23, 1999.

According to Sheila Wellington, Catalyst president, "The 1999 Catalyst Award recognizes these outstanding three companies for their unique and original approaches to moving women up their corporate ladders. All have achieved success at increasing women's representation at senior levels." At Baxter, since 1996, women's representation at the vice president level has increased nearly 30 percent, and the percentage of employees using alternative work arrangements has doubled from 7 percent to approximately 14 percent. Corning's recognition of the importance of management experience in a manufacturing environment resulted in a strategic effort to move women into and upward in manufacturing roles. Five of Corning's 20 plants are now managed by women. Titled officers at TD Bank Financial Group, comprising executives from associate vice presidents to CEO, have more than doubled since 1994, from 8 percent to 17.8 percent.

Catalyst has honored companies for exemplary initiatives to advance women since 1987, evaluating senior management commitment, measurable results, accountability, replicability, and originality. Speaking of the importance of women's advancement at last year's Catalyst Awards Dinner, Lew Platt, Hewlett-Packard Chairman, President & CEO and Chair of the 1998 Catalyst Awards Dinner, thanked Catalyst for "never hesitating to remind us of what happens when businesses choose to use their entire workforce."

Catalyst will host a full day conference prior to the awards ceremony on March 23, 1999. Sessions will feature an in-depth analysis of the winning initiatives by company representatives; a frank review of personal success strategies by high-level corporate and professional women executives; and a workshop on strategies companies can employ to better recruit, retain, and advance women. Opportunity 2000, a UK organization with a mission similar to that of Catalyst's, will provide an overview of women's status in business in the UK and a presentation of award-winning British corporations.

About the Award Winners
Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Baxter Healthcare Corporation's Work and Life Strategic Initiative began with an 18-month study which ended up refuting commonly held beliefs about work/life issues. For example, more men (49 percent) than women (39 percent) reported looking for a new job because of work/life conflicts, and 40 percent of full-time respondents of both genders reported problems with achieving balance. The findings of the study, which was conducted with MK Consultants, added up to a strong business rationale for flexibility, so Baxter set out to build a corporate culture that supports it from the top down-the CEO himself disseminates a newsletter peppered with family anecdotes. Job postings now indicate when a position lends itself to a flexible arrangement-and such jobs have increased from one per month to an average of 38; work/life issues are now rated in employee feedback; supervisors' annual performance reviews include work/life issues; even some senior-level employees work alternative schedules. Even more, since 1996, women's representation has increased 8 percent at the manager level, nearly 18 percent at the director level, and almost 30 percent at the vice president level. The percentage of employees using alternative work arrangements has doubled from 7 percent to approximately 14 percent.

Corning Incorporated Corning Incorporated's initiative, Women in Manufacturing, was launched in 1992 by a Corning senior manager. It aims at recruiting Corning women into manufacturing and developing advancement opportunities for them and for those who are already there. Corning does this by: including women interested in manufacturing in succession planning; analyzing the career paths of individuals in top manufacturing jobs to determine how they got there; and augmenting coaching and mentoring programs and work/life balance offerings. Because of Women in Manufacturing, in 1997 diversity performance became a part of supervisors' evaluation and compensation. Plant managers share their diversity results, and since the initiative's inception, seven women have been promoted to plant manager. Right now, 25 percent (five of 20) plant managers at Corning are women; and two former women plant managers have moved into higher management roles. In addition, female attrition in the plants has declined from 8 percent to 3.5 percent.

TD Bank Financial Group In 1994, a group of senior women expressed their concern to TD management about the lack of women at the highest levels of the organization. The result of the specially created Task Force for the Advancement of Women was Advancing Together, a comprehensive initiative covering career development, succession planning, respect, and flexibility. Now broadly applicable to all TD employees, the initiative maintains a special concentration on women. One goal is to identify high-potential women and help them with planning their career paths, filling educational/skill gaps, mentoring, and increasing their visibility to senior executives. Another is to give all employees cross-functional experience, training, and support for their personal and professional development. An intranet site, supplemented by telephone career counseling, helps employees create their own careers, offering strategies, "day-in-the-life" profiles, even access to senior executive resumes. Other aspects include a survey to assess employee satisfaction, a sexual harassment awareness program, and a wide array of work/life programs. The number of women titled officers (associate vice president to CEO) has more than doubled since 1994, from 8 percent to 17.8 percent.

A nonprofit research organization, Catalyst works with business to advance women. A solutions-oriented approach has earned the confidence of business leaders, who count on Catalyst to help them address women's workplace issues and develop cost-effective responses.