Events

The 2009 Catalyst Awards Dinner sponsored by DuPont and Shell Oil Company, was held Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at The Waldorf Astoria in New York.

Irene B. Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods Inc., served as Dinner Chair. Initiatives from Baxter International Inc., CH2M HILLGibbons P.C., and KPMG LLP were honored as winners of the 2009 Catalyst Award.

Baxter International Inc.

In 2005, Baxter’s Asia Pacific operations developed Building Talent Edge, a talent management initiative to cultivate a more effective, diverse, and sustainable organization built for growth and maximized opportunities. The initiative strives to develop a 50/50 gender balance across management-level and critical positions throughout the 14 countries in the region. Although Baxter aimed to reach its target by 2010, its goal was achieved two years ahead of plan through robust recruitment and development strategies together with strong communication and accountability. Building Talent Edge reflects the culture of Baxter’s Asia Pacific operations, which is inclusive and reinforced by shared leadership expectations and values among all staff. Baxter’s regional president and the Asia Pacific Leadership Team (APLT) execute elements of the initiative and oversee regional talent planning to ensure gender balance.

Components of the recruitment and development strategies require that external recruiters present diverse candidate slates of 50 percent women. Similar targets apply to training programs such as Leadership Acceleration Program (LEAP), Baxter’s program for high-potential talent, and Fitness training, which aims to improve the clinical, product, and marketing knowledge of Asia Pacific teams. These efforts are linked to positive business outcomes.  In addition, the initiative promotes cultural sensitivity in managing talent throughout the region by providing all women—including those in countries where women are disadvantaged by cultural norms—access to leadership development and relocation opportunities. Strong accountability is enforced through close performance monitoring that is measured and communicated regularly. Metrics measure progress toward the goals of retaining 90 to100 percent of top talent and achieving gender balance. These goals are performance management objectives that ensure accountability to the talent management initiative.

Building Talent Edge has delivered solid increases for women in critical positions across Baxter’s Asia Pacific operations: women in management and executive positions increased from 31 percent in 2004 to 50 percent in 2008, and four out of 16 general managers are women. Representation of women in individual countries is also strong: approximately 30 to 70 percent of management and executive positions in each of the 14 respective countries are held by women. From 2006 to 2008, women’s representation on the APLT increased from 25 to 37 percent.

 

CH2M HILL

CH2M HILL’s Constructing Pathways for Women Through Inclusion initiative utilizes the company’s long-standing inclusive workplace to accelerate women’s advancement. In the traditionally male-dominated industry of engineering and construction, CH2MHILL provides a model for leveraging women employees to achieve business success. Founded on principles that include a collaborative, team-oriented, non-hierarchical culture where all views are heard and respected, this engineering and construction firm works to ensure that processes are transparent. All employees receive The Little Yellow Book, a guide to the organization’s values designed to support an environment in which diversity, openness, and innovation thrive. Expectations for employee behavior, including diversity orientation, are explicit and defined as “Work Approaches” in the company’s performance management system.

Other important components of Constructing Pathways for Women Through Inclusion include regional women’s networks that provide local learning and mentoring opportunities; Women’s Leadership Summits that deliver strategic learning opportunities to a cross-section of women leaders; informal mentoring and networking opportunities; targeted recruiting for both new graduates and experienced hires; a formal succession-planning process that ensures slates are diverse and include at least one woman or person of color; vigorous recruiting of women and people of color into the firm; and substantial involvement by the Board of Directors’ Workforce and Diversity Committee in developing strategy and policy. Accountability mechanisms include the Performance Enhancement Process, which evaluates employees’ goals; balanced scorecards that measure progress for each business group and ensure that efforts are tracked in the line business; and an employee survey through which leaders are held responsible for making continued improvement in diversity and inclusion measures.

CH2MHILL leverages women employees by ensuring they are placed in important positions, are visible role models, and are responsible for high-profile projects, linking their expertise to business success. Since the initiative’s launch in 2003, women’s representation in senior leadership positions—as business unit heads, geographic region leaders, and top managers—has increased from 2.9 percent to 18.0 percent, and women of color lead two of the company’s 13 geographic regions. The percentage of women project managers has also increased from 20.5 percent in 2005 to 30.3 percent in 2008.

 

Gibbons P.C.

The Women’s Initiative: Driving Success Through Diversity Investment at Gibbons P.C. has contributed to, and continues to support, a workplace culture that is flexible, innovative, engaging, and inclusive. It is embedded in the firm’s business development strategy and has become critical to its branding in the marketplace. Through the initiative’s informative and well-attended events, 60 percent of clients are involved in various activities. Women, men, and the firm benefit from the business generated by these events. In 2007, The Women’s Initiative generated more than 6 percent of the firm’s annual revenue.

Other important components include women-only “mentoring circles” that give attorneys a chance to connect with role models and share career insights. Women involved with the initiative also provide strategic advice on the firm’s flexibility programs and policies. In addition, community involvement through outreach and partnerships contribute to strong recruitment and retention by building and sustaining the firm’s brand. Participation in The Women’s Initiative is strongly supported, expected, and entrenched in the firm’s processes. Performance evaluations and compensation reviews at each level, including among women and men directors/partners account for corporate citizenship activities; this explicitly includes participation in the initiative. Also, associates may count 35 hours toward their annual billable-hours requirements.

Together, the initiative’s components create an environment in which women professionals can succeed. The culture of flexibility ensures women’s advancement is not impeded by work-life concerns: more than two-thirds of the firm’s women directors are mothers. Twenty-two percent of the firm’s women non-equity directors, 20 percent of women counsel, and 16 percent of women associates utilize a reduced-hours schedule. Women currently hold 21.1 percent of equity director positions, and the number of women directors overall increased from 13 percent in 1997 to 19 percent in 2008. Women of color directors increased from zero to 4.1 percent in the same timeframe. Women also chair three of the firm’s nine practice groups.

 

KPMG LLP

KMPG LLP’s Great Place to Build a Career initiative is a comprehensive set of programs, resources, and benefits that has transformed the firm into an inclusive employer of choice which partners and employees, including women and people of color, consider a great place to work. Using diversity and inclusion as a strategic imperative to drive change, KPMG has built a culture of career growth, mentoring, and accountability that focuses on recruiting, retaining, and developing talented people from a diverse pool of backgrounds and experiences. In addition, feedback and ideas from partners and employees at all levels continually shape programs and tools to create change from within.

Since its launch in 2002, KPMG’s Great Place to Build a Career initiative has been formalized among, communicated to, and embraced by all partners and employees at the firm with the goal of making KPMG an “employer of choice.” The initiative consists of a robust recruiting strategy, including unconscious bias training for recruiters and a targeted mentoring program for new hires who are people of color. Other cornerstone components include  transparency around career paths through an interactive set of online resources and tools, enhanced person-to-person career guidance provided by People Management Leaders—professionals who have an aptitude for career coaching—and a robust mentoring culture supported by a formal program with 6,000 mentors and nearly 10,000 mentees. Close tracking of mentoring pairs shows solid results. In 2008, turnover among mentored staff and managers was about 18 percent lower than turnover of those without mentors; for mentored partners, it was 50 percent lower. Other tracking mechanisms and formal accountability processes include monitoring human capital metrics such as retention and promotion rates and administering upward feedback, client engagement reviews, and employee surveys. Diversity goals and performance are also linked to compensation and bonuses for all partners and employees.

Great Place to Build a Career has demonstrated strong results for women. In 2008, women comprised 18.2 percent of partners, up from 12.9 percent in 2003. Also, women of color represented 10.2 percent of managing directors, directors, senior managers, and managers, up from 5.7 percent in 2003. Turnover among both women and men has decreased over the course of the initiative, dropping 36.3 percent for women and 24.5 percent for men between 2003 and 2008.

2009 Catalyst Awards Dinner Video

 

2009 Catalyst Award Dinner Baxter International Inc.'s Winner Video

 

2009 Catalyst Award Dinner CH2M HILL's Winner Video

 

2009 Catalyst Award Dinner Gibbons P.C.'s Winner Video

 


2009 Catalyst Award Dinner KPMG LLP's Winner Video

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