On March 8th we all celebrated International Women’s Day, an annual reminder of the ever-changing world and women’s place in it. The importance of women in the workplace cannot be diminished as research proves that when women work it drives economic growth from the ground up.
In this issue of C-News we present a new report, Women in the World that offers a view on the importance of women with relation to socioeconomic progress as well as their role in helping transform the global landscape and workplace. Our President, Deborah Gillis, shares her thoughts on this year’s theme for International Women’s Day “Inspiring Change: Equality for Women Is Progress for All,” which is much aligned with our own mission: Expanding Opportunities for Women and Business. And while it’s wonderful to set aside a day each year to consider women’s status around the world, it’s even better to consider how to create more opportunities for women every day.
We’re also rolling out our #WomenCan hashtag so please use it in your social media channels to reinforce that women can do anything. And of course, the impending Catalyst Awards Conference and Dinner will highlight two initiatives that made change happen for women in 2013 and beyond.
Women in the World: The Ripple Effect
Now more than ever before, women around the world are poised to make significant progress. Large-scale changes in every region could lead to advances for women—as well as progress for countries and entire regions—if well leveraged by societies, governments, and businesses. This report explores women’s status through the lens of shifting demographics, improving education, and the varied status of progress toward equality for women. There’s also an accompanying infographic which showcases how economic empowerment of women can improve a country’s growth and stability, combat shrinking labor forces, and contribute to economic development.
Diving into Global Inclusion
Feelings of otherness are not limited to a geographical region. Our research has shown that across the globe people who feel like outsiders struggle to gain a foothold in the workplace and ascend the ladder. Inclusion is necessary to make everyone feel like they are welcome at the table. In a report to be released next month, Inclusive Leadership: The View From Six Countries, we delve into how much the very definitions of inclusion vary from culture to culture and the striking similarities across most countries in how employees characterize inclusion and the leadership behaviors that help to foster it.
Catalyst Awards Conference: Making Change Happen
We have been discussing change for years. Last year we were, in fact, “Ready For Change.” This year we’re ready to “Make Change Happen!” Join a gathering of experts, ranging from mid- and senior-level managers, D&I/HR practitioners, and C-Suite executives, as they convene to shape the dialogue and strategy about organizational inclusion and transforming workplaces. Registration is open for this unparalleled event: April 2, 2014, in New York City.
Progress must always be marked in time and each year we celebrate the success of the initiatives honored by the Catalyst Award. These accomplishments will be remembered as inspirational for others committed to advancing women in the workplace and beyond. Ilene H. Lang, Retired President & CEO of Catalyst and Honorary Director of Catalyst’s Board of Directors, and Peter Voser, Former Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell plc. and Chair of Catalyst’s Board of Directors, will co-chair this special event. With one month to go before the event, we urge you to book your table/seat today.
This biennial report details women’s representation on corporate boards at the largest companies in Canada. Women’s representation on boards at public companies has increased nearly two percentage points in the past two years, signaling new momentum for corporate Canada. But the data presents a less encouraging picture for private companies, Crown corporations, and cooperatives on the FP500 list. They have seen no meaningful increase in their numbers of women board directors compared to 2011. Download the report for the full details.
Spring Comes to Canada
As Alex Johnston, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada, reviewed the 2013 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors, she noted that more than one-third of Canadian companies still have no women on their boards. Only five public companies had 40%or more women directors in 2013. But there are delicate signs of a shift. Read her post to find out what has progressed and what still needs improvement.
These practices and reports offer a deeper dive into women in the workplace, the importance of inclusion and how to maximize and recognize talent.