Catalyst today presented the 2008 Catalyst Award for initiatives that advance women in the workplace to ING U.S. Financial Services (USFS) and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Both award-winning initiatives are from companies representing organizations that are headquartered outside of the United States, a first in the history of the Catalyst Award. The award, given during the Catalyst Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria, attracted approximately 90 CEOs of major corporations and firms and nearly 1600 senior executives and industry leaders from over 200 U.S. and global companies.
“This year’s exceptional initiatives, both from global companies, show impact regionally and relevance globally,” said Ilene H. Lang, President of Catalyst. “They reflect the Catalyst perspective--that inclusion drives change and women’s advancement which, in turn, drives business success.”
Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express Company, chaired the Catalyst Awards Dinner. “Winning in today’s global marketplace requires talented and dedicated employees who reflect the diversity of the markets they are serving. They make the measurable difference in understanding the unique needs and aspirations of customers throughout the world,” Mr. Chenault said. American Express received the 2001 Catalyst Award for its Building a Winning Culture: Accountability Counts initiative.
ING USFS’s Beyond Diversity: Building One ING Culture initiative dramatically increased the number of women in senior management teams and created a culture that identifies diversity and inclusion as a business imperative. Thomas J. McInerney, ING Group Executive Board member, Chairman and CEO, ING Insurance Americas, said, “At ING, our initiative isn’t just about doing the right thing. Joining the list of recipients of the Catalyst Award reflects the dedication of ING’s commitment to diversity and inclusion not only for our workforce, but also our customers. This is an essential milestone in our growth as a company, and we are honored to be recognized.”
Nissan’s Women in the Driver’s Seat: Gender Diversity as a Lever in Japan initiative focused on increasing the number of women managers and employees, using gender diversity to secure business success by increasing participation from all employees in all areas of business. Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said, “To be successful, we need to reflect the world we serve. At Nissan, we believe diversity is wealth, diversity is a strength. Fairness, respect and inclusion are not merely admirable qualities - they are essential to the cross-functional teamwork that is at the heart of Nissan’s performance.”
Earlier in the day, more than 500 people attended the Catalyst Awards Conference, which featured workshops on critical issues of leadership and inclusion in today’s workplace. Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Inc., delivered the lunchtime keynote, which focused on her journey to becoming the leader of one of the largest multinational corporations in the world. Under her leadership, PepsiCo was the recipient of the 2007 Catalyst Award for its Women of Color Multicultural Alliance initiative.
In the afternoon, leading researchers and experts on diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace engaged in three wide-ranging panel discussions based on current and upcoming Catalyst research. In the Women of Color and Intersectionality session, Catalyst experts and business leaders discussed the challenges of combining various identities in a productive working environment, and shared personal stories of how they managed to successfully balance the intersection between the ways they identify themselves and their professional lives.
The Meeting at the Generational Crossroads session explored the differences and potential similarities of women and men generationally and across the globe. The discussion focused on issues organizations are facing with four generations working together in today’s workplace, and what some corporations are doing to break down the generational stereotypes in order to create a truly inclusive work environment.
The Including Men in Gender Equity session examined why men are an important missing factor in developing initiatives that build gender inclusiveness. Catalyst researchers and distinguished male experts talked about the barriers to engaging men in gender diversity initiatives, and looked at strategies that would help more men become champions of gender diversity.
The Conference also highlighted the successes of this year’s Award-winning initiatives during panel discussions by executives from ING and Nissan. Cadillac served as the exclusive sponsor of the Catalyst Awards conference and Shell Oil Company served as the exclusive sponsor of the Catalyst Awards dinner.
For complete descriptions of past and present Catalyst Award-winning initiatives and the Catalyst Awards Conference, please visit www.catalyst.org. For media inquiries, please contact Susan Nierenberg, 646-388-7744, [email protected], Serena Fong, 646-388-7757, [email protected], or Jeff Barth, 646-388-7725, [email protected]. For international media inquiries specifically, please contact Susan Nierenberg.
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit corporate membership research and advisory organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and the support and confidence of more than 370 leading corporations, firms, business schools, and associations, Catalyst is connected to business and its changing needs and is the premier resource for information and data about women in the workplace. In addition, Catalyst honors exemplary business initiatives that promote women’s leadership with the annual Catalyst Award.
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.
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 75 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand. In the U.S., the ING family of companies offer a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients which include life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 15 million customers across the nation.
ABOUT NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD.
Nissan Motor Company generated global net revenues of 10.468 trillion yen in 2006. Nissan is present in all major global auto markets selling a comprehensive range of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and light commercial vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. Nissan employs over 180,000 people worldwide. Under the Nissan Value-Up business plan, the company continues to focus on long-term sustainable and profitable growth driven by three commitments: to maintain top level of operating profit margin among global automakers, to achieve global sales of 4.2 million units in 2009, and 20% return on invested capital on average over the course of the plan.