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American Express, General Mills, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Win 2001 Catalyst Award

Systemic Initiatives to Advance Women Recognized by Catalyst and North America’s Top Companies

American Express Company, General Mills, Inc., and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. received the 2001 Catalyst Award at a gala dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York this evening. Chaired by Hewlett-Packard Chairman, President and CEO Carleton S. Fiorina and attended by 1,800 North American business leaders and more than 50 Fortune 500 CEOs, the 26th Annual Catalyst Awards Dinner celebrated the strategic approaches these organizations have adopted to advance women in business. Accepting the award on behalf of their companies were Kenneth I. Chenault, President and CEO of American Express Company; Stephen W. Sanger, Chairman and CEO of General Mills, Inc.; and William B. Harrison, President and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Sheila Wellington, President of Catalyst and author with Catalyst of Be Your Own Mentor, remarked, "While the Catalyst Award honors companies for their commitment to women’s advancement, it is the individuals in these companies that drive the initiatives. And these individuals, knowing that now more than ever, talent and commitment are essential for business success, are fostering that talent and commitment in all their employees, regardless of race or gender."

The 2001 Catalyst Award-winning approaches are diverse and are driven by committed senior leadership. American Express’s Building a Winning Culture: Accountability Counts, centers on developing leadership competencies,
including a focus on diversity, with strong accountability measures.

General Mills’ Women in Leadership: The Power to Build the Future, is rooted in their Women’s Forum which has created an environment of empowerment and open dialogue between women and senior executives. Other formalized processes – powerful network groups, mentoring programs, and Individual Development Plans – work to help achieve the company’s overall diversity objectives.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s Using Diversity to Forge a New Culture: The Chase-Chemical Merger Experience highlights the company’s commitment to diversity, sustaining their policies throughout Chase’s merger process. When merging with Chemical, Chase implemented its "merger of equals" philosophy, and integrated diversity into the company’s core management processes, including such areas as mentoring and career development offerings.

Some of the results of the award-winning initiatives are seen in the hard numbers—at American Express, the number of senior women has grown from 19 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2000; at General Mills, women officers and directors have increased from 16 percent in 1993 to 27 percent in 2000; and at the time of its merger with J.P. Morgan, 24 percent of Chase’s senior level management were women, up from 19 percent in 1996.

Speakers include:

• Carleton S. Fiorina, Chairman, President, and CEO Hewlett-Packard Company
• Sheila W. Wellington, President, Catalyst
• Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC
• John F. Smith, Chairman, General Motors Corporation
• Kenneth I. Chenault, President and CEO, American Express Company
• Stephen W. Sanger, Chairman and CEO, General Mills, Inc.
• William B. Harrison, President and CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

About the Catalyst Award
Catalyst annually honors companies for outstanding approaches to advance women in business, evaluating senior management commitment, measurable results, accountability, replicability, and originality. Since 1987, the Catalyst Award has honored 45 corporate initiatives that have demonstrated a proven ability to advance women. The annual Catalyst Awards Dinner has become the preeminent venue for highlighting corporate leaders committed to women’s advancement. It is accompanied by a full-day conference featuring analyses of the winning initiatives by company representatives, candid conversations of personal success strategies by high-level corporate and professional women executives, and several interactive sessions with Catalyst experts who address cutting-edge issues about women in business.

About Catalyst

Catalyst is the nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, with offices in New York and Toronto. The leading source of information on women in business for the past four decades, Catalyst has the knowledge and tools that help companies and women maximize their potential. Our solutions-oriented approach—through research, Advisory Services, Corporate Board Placement, and the Catalyst Award—has earned the confidence of global business leaders. Catalyst President Sheila Wellington is the author of Be Your Own Mentor, released in February by Random House. About the 2001 Catalyst Award Winners

American Express Company
Efforts to build a winning culture—one in which diversity is a key component – are part of an evolution at American Express. Their initiative, Building a Winning Culture: Accountability Counts, has created an environment in which leaders are not only encouraged but expected to integrate diversity into their business objectives, with a strong emphasis on accountability. A Leadership Competency Model is used to set expectations and coach managers on key elements of leadership, including diversity. Exhibiting effective behaviors and achieving results in this area comprise 50 percent of a leader's evaluation. An annual Employee Survey, the primary method of measuring employee satisfaction, includes questions directly linked to diversity and accounts for an additional 12.5 percent of a leader's assessment. To help build and sustain the awareness needed to further integrate diversity into the workplace, leaders are required to complete a comprehensive management-training curriculum over a 24-month period. They are also expected to ensure diverse candidates are considered for every open position. President and CEO Kenneth Chenault reviews quarterly reports that analyze hiring efforts at all levels of the organization, and conducts follow-up discussions with business leaders, if necessary. Together, these programs and others, create the foundation for building a winning culture. The number of senior women at American Express, including women of color, has increased from 19 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2000 in the United States; women comprise 17.6 percent of their corporate officers, compared to only 12.5 percent nationally.

General Mills
General Mills’ initiative Women in Leadership: The Power to Build the Future centers on creating meaningful dialogue between diverse employees and senior leadership. The initiative is marked both by empowered employees who make recommendations that lead to real change and by senior leaders who continuously engage their workforce in conversations about diversity. At the hub of the initiative is the Women’s Forum Offsite, an annual meeting of senior-level women at which critical issues are voiced by women and addressed jointly by the CEO, senior management, and the senior women themselves. Some of General Mills’ most successful personnel policies and programs—including the re-formulated Individual Development Planning—have been improved through the Women’s Forum’s efforts. General Mills boasts other powerful employee networks, including the Black Champions Network that works to create culture change and increase the representation of African Americans at General Mills. CEO Stephen Sanger’s strong support of network groups, and his personal efforts to understand the issues of women at General Mills, have created a culture that is open and inclusive. He has demonstrated his commitment to diversity by setting ambitious numerical goals for the representation of women and people of color. As a result, women officers and directors have increased from 16 percent in 1993 to 27 percent in 2000; women comprise 18 percent of their corporate officers.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Keeping diversity in the forefront during a large organizational change is a challenge for companies. Using Diversity to Forge a New Culture: The Chase-Chemical Merger Experience recognizes work originated by The Chase Manhattan Corporation which, at the time, was embarking on a merger with Chemical Bank. The Chase Manhattan Bank completed its merger with J.P. Morgan in late December 2000 to form J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., integrated diversity as a common thread through their business strategies and sustains its commitment to diversity, especially during mergers and acquisitions. A company-wide Diversity Council, chaired by CEO William Harrison, annually establishes a diversity agenda for the company. In addition, every Chase business hosts its own diversity council; there are 45 councils around the world. Each business creates a formal diversity plan tailored to its local needs. Components of each plan include recruiting, training, mentoring, networking, work/life programs, and career development. Managers’ progress on diversity is evaluated using the "diversity scorecard" and results are tied to a manager’s bonus. The crux of Chase’s merger strategy is its comprehensive, straightforward communication strategy. Chase has multiple communication channels—including forums, newsletters, web sites, email, and town hall meetings—through which ongoing communication about success stories and information about diversity is disseminated to employees. For example, criteria for the selection of post-merger employees are made public, ensuring that the process is seen as fair and objective. At the time of its merger with J.P. Morgan, 24 percent of Chase’s senior level management were women, up from 19 percent in 1996; women also comprise 19 percent of their corporate officers.