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Catalyst Taps Global Leaders to Champion Board-Ready Women, Gender Diversity on U.S. Corporate Boards

Senior Executive Women Selected as Board Candidates for Inaugural Class

NEW YORK, NY (May 12, 2016)—To address the lagging representation of women on boards and the increasing demand for diversity in corporate boardrooms, Catalyst, the global expert on accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion, today announces the inaugural class of its U.S. Women On BoardTM initiative. This U.S.-based, two-year program pairs CEO/board chairs who serve as mentors and sponsors with CEO-endorsed board candidates. It builds on the success initially found in Canada, where 54% of program alumnae have been appointed to corporate boards.

The U.S. Women On BoardTM matches include:

  • Douglas R. Conant, Chairman, Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute, and Stephanie C. Hill, Vice President and General Manager, MST–Ship and Aviation Systems, Lockheed Martin Corporation

  • Ian Cook, Chairman, President & CEO, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Melinda M. White, Area President, West Region, Frontier Communications

  • Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP, and Linda L. Addison, Managing Partner, United States, Norton Rose Fulbright

  • Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Christine Katziff, Corporate General Auditor, Bank of America

  • A.G. Lafley, Executive Chairman, The Procter & Gamble Company, and Leslie Starr Keating, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Frito-Lay North America, PepsiCo

  • John B. Veihmeyer, Global Chairman, KPMG International, and Susan M. Stalnecker, Retired Vice President, Finance and Treasury, DuPont

  • Maggie Wilderotter, Former Executive Chairman, Frontier Communications, and Gale V. King, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Nationwide Insurance Company

“Building diverse boards requires engaged leaders who have the resources and the opportunity to promote real change," says Grauer, who also serves as Founding Chairman of the U.S. 30% Club. “Catalyst’s Women On BoardTM initiative leverages that engagement in a powerful way by pairing current directors with accomplished board candidates. I'm proud to be a part of the effort.”

“It’s simply good business to bring more women onto corporate boards. In P&G’s case, we want the best minds bringing external perspective, challenging our thinking, and adding their diverse points of view,” says Lafley.

“I’m proud to be a mentor and sponsor in Catalyst’s Women On BoardTM initiative,” says Veihmeyer. “The initiative not only helps to ensure that more highly qualified women are considered for board appointments, it also serves a larger purpose in demonstrating the importance of developing, empowering and advancing women and the next generation of women leaders, not just in business but frankly in our communities and our country as a whole.”

A mentor and a sponsor, according to Catalyst research, can make a significant difference to a woman’s advancement in the workplace; and a lack of sponsorship, in particular, restricts women's access to organizations’ most influential networks. Sponsorship, more than mentorship, can open doors to these powerful networks.

“After seeing Catalyst’s annual Census of women board directors chronicle almost a decade of little to no change in the representation of women in corporate boardrooms, I am pleased these highly respected leaders of global corporations are taking both intentional and personal action to make a difference in corporate boardrooms,” says Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst. “We commend their steadfast commitment to our Women On BoardTM initiative, which helps to increase gender diversity on all corporate boards.”

Women On BoardTM launched in 2007 serving five Canadian women and their mentoring partners. A piloted version for the U.S.-based Women On Board® effort started in 2014 with James Turley, Former Chairman and CEO, EY, and Director, Citigroup, Emerson Electric Company, Intrexon Corporation and Northrop Grumman; and Ellen Costello, Former US Country Head, BMO Financial Group, and Director, DH Corporation. In December 2015, Costello was appointed to the Citi Board of Directors.

Selection for the second U.S. class of Women On BoardTM is currently in progress.

For more information on Catalyst’s Women On BoardTM initiative, visit catalystwomenonboard.org.

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 supporting organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.

About Women On BoardTM 
Women On BoardTM is a Catalyst initiative that promotes the appointment of women to corporate boards by engaging CEOs and board chairs, who are committed to improving board diversity, to mentor and sponsor CEO-endorsed women board candidates. Launched in Canada in 2007 and expanded to the United States in 2015, over 50% of Women On Board® alumnae have been appointed to corporate boards.