Events

For more than 20 years, the Catalyst Awards Conference has brought together experts from around the world to share knowledge and shape the dialogue about inclusive leadership and other critical factors related to women and workplaces around the globe.

The 2016 Catalyst Awards Conference was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Catalyst Award annually honors innovative organizational approaches with proven, measurable results that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of women.

Approximately 700 corporate leaders and members of the media came together for the one-of-a-kind conference to share innovative strategies, research, and expertise on the subject of accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. 

 

Lead Sponsor

Target Logo

Click on the image below to view the full 2016 Catalyst Awards Conference Program.

Inclusive and intentional leadership in the workplace, finding a balance between our personal lives and our careers, overcoming issues concerning diversity and inclusion, and using setbacks as stepping stones to success were some of the topics that were highlighted during the 2016 Catalyst Awards Conference.

The Conference, which was themed “It Takes EACH of Us,” gathered nearly 700 business leaders at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to partake in a full day of breakout sessions delving into research and exploring new strategies to evoke change within workplaces. The event also focused on Gap Inc.’s 2016 Catalyst Award-winning initiative, Women and Opportunity, highlighting it as an example with proven, measurable results to address the recruitment, development, and advancement of gender equality in the workplace.

The day kicked off with a morning session led by Krista Brookman, Vice President, Inclusive Leadership Initiative, Catalyst; Emily Troiano, Senior Director, CatalystX and Information Center; and Tolonda Tolbert, Director and Consultant, Global Member Services, Catalyst. In this session, attendees got schooled on the importance of inclusive leadership through hands-on activities and also got the opportunity to learn about Catalyst’s growing CatalystX series of online courses.

Back in the Grand Ballroom, Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Target, delivered a phenomenal speech calling on attendees to dig deep and reflect on women in their lives who have paved the way for them to become who they are today. She shared an excerpt from a book by African American Pearl Cleage titled We Speak Your Names: “We are the ones you conjured up, hoping we would have strength enough and discipline enough and talent enough and nerve enough to step into the light.”

The “Empowered Employees: Effective in Work and Life” breakout session explored the popular topic concerning whether women can “have it all” and how most men are seldom confronted with the same question when balancing their personal life and professional lives. The conversation—led by Emily Cohen, Senior Associate, Information Center, Catalyst; and Serena Fong, Vice President, Government Affairs, Catalyst— focused on implementing policies such as gender-neutral family leave and flexible work hours to help employees from all walks of life find balance.

The “Accountability in Action: Aligning Efforts Globally” session examined how to implement and sustain initiatives for global companies. Leaders from Fortune 500 companies including Sodexo, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, and Alcoa shared their success strategies as models for attendees to follow as they develop and create initiatives that will work in their respective companies.  This Alcoa Foundation–sponsored session was moderated by Julie S. Nugent, Vice President & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice, Catalyst; and Alixandra Pollack, Director, Research, Catalyst.

The “Courage Counts” session put gender, race, and ethnicity at the forefront of the conversation. The chat—which was guided by Katherine Giscombe, PhD, Vice President and Women of Color Practitioner, Global Member Services, Catalyst; Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, PhD, Director, Panel Manager, Research, Catalyst; and Dnika J. Travis, PhD, Vice President, Women of Color Research & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice, Catalyst¾laid out issues concerning the lack of diversity within companies and inspired business leaders to step up and overcome these problems by creating transparent workplaces where employees feel comfortable speaking up about the struggles that they face in the workplace. The session was sponsored by Walmart and featured remarks from Lisa Gutierrez, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Cardinal Health; Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Walmart Stores, Inc.; and Lauren N. Williams, Features Editor, Essence magazine.

There’s a quote that says "fall down seven times, stand up eight." The “Humility Helps: Turning Missteps Into Next Steps” session put a positive spin on failure by inspiring attendees to use setbacks as tools to learn. The session was led by Deepali Bagati, PhD, Executive Director, United States, Catalyst; and Heather Foust-Cummings, PhD, Vice President & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Equity in Business, Catalyst, and featured remarks from leaders at Barilla and PAREXEL.

The luncheon fireside chat featured a candid discussion between our CEO & President, Deborah Gillis, and Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation. During the conversation in the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom, Ms. Hewson shared experiences that she has encountered and lessons that she has learned along her career journey. She also provided valuable advice for audience members looking to climb the corporate ladder. In between the sessions, attendees got the opportunity to mix and mingle with each other and wind down in a chic lounge that was created by Target.

The final session highlighted Gap Inc.’s 2016 Catalyst-Award winning initiative, Women and Opportunity. The first panel—which was moderated by Liz Mulligan-Ferry, Director, Research, Catalyst—featured leaders from Gap Inc., including Dan Briskin, VP of Global Employee Relations and HR Shared Services, Gap Inc.; Erin Nolan, Representative Director of Gap Japan K.K., Vice President & General Manager for Gap Specialty Japan, Gap Inc.; and Heather Robsahm, Senior Director, Talent Management, Banana Republic. The second Gap Inc. panel—which was led by Juju Chang, ABC News Nightline Co-Anchor—featured Dan Henkle, President, Gap Foundation and SVP Global Sustainability, Gap Inc.; Bobbi Silten, EVP, Global Talent and Sustainability, Gap Inc.; Sonia Syngal, EVP, Global Supply Chain and Product Operations, Gap Inc.; and Keith White, SVP, Loss Prevention and Corporate Administration, Gap Inc. During both panels, the speakers discussed career mobility, flexibility and pay equality as well as their “Grow Perform Succeed” (GPS) program. Each speaker  went beyond the numbers and shared personal stories about their employees to illustrate their initiative’s impact. 

 

 

 

Agenda

7:30 – 8:15 AM (Optional, Spaces Limited)

Jumping to Inclusion: Your Morning (Learning) Workout

Featuring CatalystX and Leading With Inclusion

Rev up your inclusive leadership learning engine for the day ahead with our interactive pre-Conference session featuring CatalystX and Leading With Inclusion. In this 45-minute, fast-paced learning session, you will participate in a hands-on inclusive leadership activity while learning about our online inclusive leadership learning experience, CatalystX, as well as our blended in-person courses, Leading With Inclusion. Grab a colleague, a coffee, and come join us for some early morning learning fun!

Speakers:

Krista Brookman, Vice President, Inclusive Leadership Initiative, Catalyst
Emily Troiano, Senior Director, CatalystX and Information Center
Tolonda Tolbert, Director, Inclusive Leadership Initiative, Consultant, Global Member Services

7:30 – 8:30 AM

Check-In and Networking Breakfast 

Join us for breakfast and to network with approximately 700 professionals from Catalyst member companies and other leading companies and firms.

8:30 – 9:15 AM

It Takes Intention - Opening Remarks and Setting the Day's Purpose

Catalyst Emcees:

Sandra Ondraschek-Norris, Senior Director, Catalyst Europe AG

Vandana Juneja, Senior Regional Director, Central Canada, Catalyst

Speakers:

Laura Sabattini, PhD, Vice President, Research, and Chair, Catalyst Award Evaluation Committee, Catalyst

Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Target

9:45 – 11:00 AM

Catalyst Breakout Sessions - First Run

(ATTENDEES SELECT ONE)

Empowered Employees: Effective in Work and Life 

Women are often asked if they can “have it all,” but how often are men asked if they want more? How can corporate policies and public actions help all employees achieve true work-life effectiveness? Recently, the public and private sectors have started to focus on creating workplaces that empower employees to be effective in all aspects of their lives. Innovations include adopting gender-neutral family leave policies, instituting flexible work scheduling, and conducting pay equity studies in order to close the wage gap. How can corporate policies influence societal changes and vice versa? In this session, women and men with and without children will discuss how to build workplaces that engage and support employees at all life stages. 

Moderators:

Emily Cohen, Senior Associate, Information Center, Catalyst

Serena Fong, Vice President, Government Affairs, Catalyst

Speakers:

Prof. Brad Harrington, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Work & Family

Matt Krentz- Senior Partner and Managing Director, Global People Team Chair, Boston Consulting Group

Barb McAteer, Sr. Director; Americas Enterprise Sales and Head of Sales Strategy & Execution, Adobe

Troy Roderick – Head of Diversity & Inclusion. Telstra Corporation Limited

Accountability in Action: Aligning Efforts Globally

How do you achieve success across different parts of the world? How do you scale up and sustain momentum for an initiative when it is rolled out across a global enterprise? In this session, we’ll look at ways to align global inclusion efforts, consider global and local implementation approaches, and design solutions for your most pressing diversity and inclusion challenges. Through interactive planning with Catalyst experts and organizational leaders, participants will explore accountability mechanisms to implement in their own organizations, walking away with actionable strategies and tools to enhance accountability across global D&I programs.

Sponsored by: Alcoa Foundation

Moderators:

Julie S. Nugent, Vice President & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice, Catalyst

Alixandra Pollack, Director, Research, Catalyst

Speakers:

Rohini Anand, PhD, Senior Vice President Corporate Responsibility & Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo (PM Session)
Sue Dodsworth, Global Diversity Officer and VP Executive Development, Kimberly-Clark Corporation 
Pat Harris, Global Chief Diversity Officer, McDonald's Corporation

Satya-Christophe Menard, Chief Executive Officer, South America, On-site Services, Sodexo (AM Session)

Leslie D. Shuman, Operational Readiness Director – TN Automotive Expansion, Alcoa Aerospace, Transportation and Industrial Products

Courage Counts: Inclusion Across Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Creating solutions for inclusion across gender, race, and ethnic identity requires a hard look beyond the numbers. It requires courageous leadership from people across all levels who dare to break down persistent barriers and create safe spaces, challenge prevailing ways of thinking, and inspire change in workplace policies and practices. In this session, we uncover strategies that individuals and organizations can take to facilitate inclusion and discuss “unspoken” issues that underpin the struggles faced in creating inclusive environments where all can thrive.

Sponsored by: Walmart

Moderators:

Katherine Giscombe, PhD, Vice President and Women of Color Practitioner, Global Member Services, Catalyst
Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, PhD, Director, Panel Manager, Research, Catalyst
Dnika J. Travis, PhD, Vice President, Women of Color Research & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice, Catalyst

Speakers:

Lisa Gutierrez, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Cardinal Health
Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Walmart Stores, Inc.
Lauren N. Williams, Features Editor, Essence Magazine

Humility Helps: Turning Missteps Into Next Steps

Nelson Mandela famously said, “Do not judge me by my successes. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” We can’t be afraid of failure—it contributes to organizational and personal learning, and is a prerequisite for innovation. This session will explore how stumbling blocks can lead to opportunity if organizations and individuals are humble enough to see them as breakthroughs.

Sponsored by: Barilla America 

Moderators:

Deepali Bagati, PhD, Executive Director, United States, Catalyst
Heather Foust-Cummings, PhD, Vice President & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Equity in Business, Catalyst

Facilitator:

Jeff Barth, Program Director, MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), Catalyst

Speakers:

Talita Ramos Erickson, General Counsel (Americas) and Chief Diversity Officer, Barilla
Luke van Hengel, Corporate Vice President, Business Operations, PAREXEL

11:00 – 11:45 AM

Taking the “Work” out of Networking

 

11:45 – 1:00 PM

Luncheon Fireside Conversation

Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst, chats with Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation, about her career, her inspired leadership, and her advice for audience members seeking to advance their own careers.

Catalyst Emcees:

Katy Breitenbach, Senior Director, Global Member Relations, Catalyst

Tsukiko Tsukahara, Vice President, Catalyst Japan

1:15 – 2:30 PM

Catalyst Breakout Sessions - Second Run

(ATTENDEES SELECT ONE)

Empowered Employees: Effective in Work and Life 

Accountability in Action: Aligning Efforts Globally

Courage Counts: Inclusion Across Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Humility Helps: Turning Missteps Into Next Steps

2:45 – 4:30 PM

Closing Session - Catalyst Award Winner Panels

Gap Inc.—Women and Opportunity

Catalyst Emcees:

Susannah Gouinlock, Senior Associate, Catalyst Canada

Shachi Irde, Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC

First Panel Moderator: 

Liz Mulligan-Ferry, Director, Research, Catalyst

First Panel Speakers:

Dan Briskin, VP of Global Employee Relations and HR Shared Services, Gap Inc.
Erin Nolan, Representative Director of Gap Japan K.K., Vice President & General Manager for Gap Specialty Japan, Gap Inc.

Heather Robsahm, Senior Director, Talent Management, Banana Republic 

Second Panel Moderator: 

Juju Chang, ABC News Nightline Co-Anchor

Second Panel Speakers:

Dan Henkle, President, Gap Foundation and SVP Global Sustainability, Gap Inc.
Bobbi Silten, EVP, Global Talent and Sustainability, Gap Inc.
Sonia Syngal, EVP, Global Supply Chain and Product Operations, Gap Inc.
Keith White, SVP, Loss Prevention and Corporate Administration, Gap Inc.

 

4 Reader Comments

Cora Voyageur says:
12/18/2015 01:36:21

Hello,

My name is Cora Voyageur and I am a First Nations woman who is a sociologist at the University of Calgary. I conducted research on Indigenous woman on boards of directors in Canada. I am about to send an academic paper in for review and publication. I would be interested in speaking at your March conference if you are interested in my topic and still need speakers.


Best,


Dr. Cora Voyageur


Mkramer says:
12/21/2015 07:57:46

Hello Dr. Voyageur -


We are aligning speakers to the 2016 Catalyst Awards Conference content and will reach out should there be an upcoming Catalyst session that fits with your expertise.


Thank you,

Megan


Kim Davis says:
9/30/2016 02:24:27

Do you have your 2017 Awards Conference date and location set yet? If so, how does a company get tickets to send a few attendees?

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