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Baxter Healthcare, Corning Incorporated and TD Bank Financial Group Win 1999 Catalyst Award

Successful Initiatives for Advancing Women Recognized by Top Business Leaders

Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Corning Incorporated, and TD Bank Financial Group accepted the Catalyst Award this evening at a gala dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria. Awards Presenter Gwen Ifill, NBC's chief Congressional and political correspondent, presented Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., President and CEO of Baxter, Roger G. Ackerman, Chairman and CEO of Corning, and A. Charles Baillie, Chairman and CEO of TD Bank, with the prestigious award in recognition of their companies' outstanding commitments to advancing women in their workplaces.

Dinner Chairman Reuben Mark, Chairman and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive, praised Catalyst for its "cutting-edge innovation and smart management of emerging workplace issues related to women." In congratulating the award-winning companies, he urged the audience of 1,500 business leaders, including approximately 40 of his peers—other CEOs of Fortune 500 companies—to "examine the initiatives and use some of their spirit and structure to improve 'business as usual.'"

Sheila Wellington, President of Catalyst, said, "The 1999 Catalyst Award winners have proven that these initiatives are not just good for women, they're good for business. Women's workplace advancement is a business issue, an imperative, in fact, for those companies that want to remain competitive in a global economy."

The 1999 Catalyst Award–winning initiatives are both diverse and creative. Representing three different initiatives from three different industries, their methods are diverse as well. Baxter's Work and Life Strategic Initiative began in HR as an 18-month study that ended up refuting commonly held beliefs about work/life issues; Corning's Women in Manufacturing is directed towards moving women into manufacturing leadership positions and was started when a male line manager realized that no women were running plants; and TD Bank's Advancing Together is a systemic initiative including components on career development, succession planning, respect, and flexibility, starting when senior-level women approached TD's management and their board of directors about the lack of women in high-ranking positions.

Since 1987, the Catalyst Award has honored 39 corporations that have demonstrated a proven ability to advance women in business. The annual Catalyst Awards Dinner has become the preeminent venue for highlighting the corporate leaders in advancing women. It is accompanied by a full-day conference featuring an analysis of the winning initiatives by company representatives and a frank review of personal success strategies by high-level corporate and professional women executives.

About the 1999 Catalyst Award Winners
Work and Life Strategic Initiative: 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.

Women in Manufacturing: 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.

Advancing Together: 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 résumés. 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 19.2 percent. Perhaps more impressive, however, is the fact that 12 percent of their senior vice presidents are now female, up from none before 1994.


Catalyst, founded in 1962, is the national nonprofit research and advisory organization with a dual mission: to enable women in business and the professions to achieve their maximum potential and to help employers capitalize on the talents of their female employees. Catalyst is supported by leading corporations, professional firms, and private foundations.