Celebrating its 20th anniversary recognizing corporate initiatives that advance women and business, Catalyst presented the 2007 Catalyst Award to The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Scotiabank at its annual gala dinner this evening. Close to 70 CEOs of major organizations and firms attended the event that drew over 1600 senior executives, top corporate officers, and industry leaders from nearly 200 national and global companies.
“The 2007 Catalyst award-winning initiatives recognize that advancing women and diversity are strategic business imperatives,” said Ilene H. Lang, President of Catalyst. “When we look ahead to the future, we foresee a world where business leaders will hardly recall what it was like to work in a world without women’s business leadership. The groundbreaking initiatives which the Catalyst Award honors today will be commonplace and the business case for women in leadership will quite simply go without saying.”
Tony Comper, immediate past President and CEO of BMO Financial Group chaired the annual Catalyst Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria honoring this year’s Award winners. Under Mr. Comper’s leadership, BMO’s Workplace Equality Initiative won the 1994 Catalyst Award.
“The advancement of women in the workforce over the past 20 years has been phenomenal in the truest sense of the word,” Mr. Comper said. “But not phenomenal enough. It is imperative that we not let this revolution get stalled.”
Against a backdrop in which, according to the latest Catalyst research, women are still vastly underrepresented in senior leadership positions and on the boards of the Fortune 500 companies, this year’s winning initiatives exemplify the Catalyst mission – to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work.
Goldman Sach’s Senior Women’s Initiative significantly increased the number of women managing directors and doubled the number of women partners. Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., said, “Goldman Sachs is honored to receive the Catalyst Award in recognition of our Senior Women’s Initiative. This program has been central to our efforts to increase the number of senior women at the firm. We believe that to continue to provide our clients with the best, most creative ideas and solutions, Goldman Sachs must reflect a diverse workforce and the different cultures and perspectives that infuse the global economy.”
PepsiCo’s Women of Color Multicultural Alliance resulted in increasing the representation of women of color at the senior management/director level. Indra Nooyi, Chairman Elect and CEO of PepsiCo, Inc., said, “We’re proud and honored to receive the recognition symbolized by the Catalyst Award, and we’re equally proud of our people who have worked tirelessly to create an environment at PepsiCo that fosters diversity, inclusion and, most importantly, innovation. This environment lets our people feel empowered to bring every part of themselves – their education, their culture, their family values – everything – to PepsiCo. And for our women of color, it creates an environment of trust, which in my opinion is the greatest success of the Alliance."
PwC’s Unique People Experience increased women’s representation at the partner level by 30 percent, and turnover for all staff has been reduced by one-third. Dennis Nally, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, remarked, “Winning the Catalyst Award is gratifying to me and a significant milestone for our firm. We are very proud that our initiatives have been recognized by Catalyst. Historically we believed that ‘equality’ meant treating everyone the same. But now we recognize that it actually requires treating different people differently, and that is the underpinning of PwC’s Unique People Experience.”
Scotiabank’s Advancement of Women Initiative significantly increased the number of women working at senior levels within the Bank. Richard E. Waugh, President and CEO of Scotiabank, commented, “Scotiabank’s Advancement of Women Initiative is not just about women; it’s about removing barriers for all of our employees, and providing them with tools and opportunities to grow and succeed for themselves, for their customers, and for Scotiabank. I’m proud of the results we’ve achieved and look forward to more progress in the years ahead.”
During the Catalyst Awards Conference held earlier in the day at the Grand Hyatt, the companies recognized for their award-winning initiatives held in-depth sessions presenting their initiatives. Karen Katen, Vice Chairman of Pfizer Inc., delivered the luncheon keynote address, “One Woman’s Journey to the Top”, after which conference attendees engaged in a series of panel discussions with some of the country’s leading experts on critical issues of inclusion and advancement of women in the 21st-century workplace, including Global Women’s Networks, Building the Agile Workplace, Women of Color Working in Global Organizations and Leveraging Diversity through Performance Management.
The Catalyst Awards Dinner is sponsored by Shell Oil Company. The Catalyst Awards Conference is sponsored by General Motors Corporation and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
For complete descriptions of this year’s Catalyst Award-winning initiatives, the Catalyst Awards Conference, and previous Award winners, please visit: www.catalyst.org.
Catalyst is the leading research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work. As an independent, nonprofit membership organization, Catalyst conducts research on all aspects of women’s career advancement and provides strategic and web-based consulting services globally. With the support and confidence of member corporations and firms, Catalyst remains connected to business and its changing needs. In addition, Catalyst honors exemplary business initiatives that promote women’s leadership with the annual Catalyst Award. With offices in New York, San Jose, Zug, and Toronto, Catalyst is consistently ranked No. 1 among U.S. nonprofits focused on women’s issues by The American Institute of Philanthropy.
About the Catalyst Award
The Catalyst Award is presented annually to companies and firms with outstanding initiatives that result in women’s career development and advancement. Catalyst’s rigorous, year-long examination of initiatives and their measurable results culminates in intensive, on-site reviews at finalist companies. The Catalyst Award provides the business community with replicable change models that are good for business and good for women. For more information about Catalyst and the Catalyst Award application process, please visit www.catalyst.org.
About The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm that provides a wide range of investing, advisory, and financing services to a diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high net worth individuals. Originally organized as a partnership, today Goldman Sachs is a public company with over 23,000 employees around the world that promotes a distinctive corporate culture, placing our clients’ interests first and emphasizing integrity, commitment to excellence, innovation, and teamwork.
About PepsiCo, Inc.
PepsiCo is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies with annual revenues of more than $35 billion. Its principal businesses include Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. Its portfolio includes 17 brands that generate $1 billion or more each in annual retail sales.
About PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the U.S. member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited. PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 140,000 people in 149 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.
Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions and Canada’s most international bank. With close to 57,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12 million customers in some 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate, and investment banking. With C$379 billion in assets (as at October 31, 2006), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.