Blog

Welcome to Catalyzing

December 5, 2012Many voices—one vision. Welcome to Catalyzing 2.0!

Catalyst has offices on three continents and more than 500 global member organizations, and workplace equality can mean something different in each region in which we operate. In India, a safe ride home from the office late at night can be an essential component of work-life effectiveness, while in the United States, paid parental leave—and the organizational support necessary to take advantage of it—may be key. Being paired with a powerful sponsor who can open the doors to opportunity may be more important for some, while for others, it’s about getting the right projects, the so-called “hot jobs” that accelerate career advancement.

The many challenges we face yield many perspectives—that’s why we’ve expanded Catalyzing into a global conversation about women and work. In the days to come, the voices that make up Catalyst worldwide will be contributing to this blog. We’ll also feature women and men from the business world, academia, and beyond, who share our vision to expand opportunities for women and business. We’ll also showcase the latest insights from MARC—Men Advocating Real Change—Catalyst’s virtual community for men committed to gender equality.

Today we’ve asked colleagues from Europe, India, Canada, and the United States to step up and set the stage for future posts. Let the conversations begin:

Canada team:

We’re excited to be adding the “CanCon” to Catalyzing’s dynamic global discussion. We hope our Canadian stories and perspectives will provoke debate, raise questions, and entertain. Like our colleagues elsewhere, we face a steep pyramid: women make up nearly half the Canadian labour force, but are at the helm of only 6.1% of our top companies. So let’s get the conversation going—we look forward to sharing this space with colleagues and friends around the world, and learning from their experiences.

Europe team:

The Catalyst Europe team is working in extraordinary times. While the European workplace has been ravaged by the Eurozone crisis, the region is—perhaps surprisingly—putting itself at the forefront of organizational change. Eleven of the EU member states already have laws in place to promote gender equality, and the European Commission has set a 40% objective for non-executive women directors on the boards of Europe’s large listed companies by 2020.

This all sounds good, yet with 85% of non-executive director positions still occupied by men (according to the European Commission) there is still work to do—and much of it is closer to home. Working within this fast-moving landscape, Catalyst Europe, along with its locally based Ambassadors for the UK, Nordic, Germanic, and Latin regions, is dynamic and opinionated. We look forward to having a strong voice on Catalyzing and throwing out some challenges to our Catalyst members and to the wider community. 

India team:

Hello from Team India! We will be sharing the latest ideas, news, and solutions—catalyzing change from India Inc. We face a fierce talent crunch—by some estimates, 67 percent of Indian employers are struggling to fill jobs—while women make up only 36 percent of the workforce. In the months ahead, we will keep you abreast of how our country is addressing this talent crunch to keep thriving and benefiting from top talent, including both women and men. We look forward to bringing forth our perspective and making you a part of our larger Catalyst community.

United States team:

When Catalyst President & CEO Ilene H. Lang launched Catalyzing in February 2010, she welcomed readers with the following message: “I joined Catalyst in 2003 with the belief that until women achieve parity in private-sector decision-making, we will be marginalized in every other arena. Catalyzing is about making this change happen.” Nearly three years later, the U.S. Catalyzing team is proud to continue this mission at a time when the number of women in business leadership has barely budged. How do we accelerate change? How do we get unstuck? In the days to come, we’ll share the ideas and debates that define the fight for gender equality in the workplace in the United States.

We want to hear from you. What do you want to talk about? The global conversation begins now.