News and Announcements

Catalyst Urges President Obama to Appoint a Woman to the United States Supreme Court

NEW YORK (April 15, 2010) – Catalyst President & Chief Executive Officer Ilene H. Lang sent a letter to President Obama regarding his opportunity to appoint a woman to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court.
The letter is reproduced in full below:
President Barack Obama
Attn: Robert F. Bauer, White House Counsel
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
I write to you on behalf of Catalyst, our nation’s leading nonprofit organization working globally to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business.
Justice John Paul Steven’s retirement creates an opportunity to move the Supreme Court one step closer to parity. While women make up 51% of our population and 47% of our civilian work force, there are only two women Supreme Court Justices (22%).
Catalyst research has shown that in the business world gender diversity boosts the bottom line. Companies with more women in senior leadership and on their boards, on average, outperform those with fewer. Even stronger results occur at companies with three or more women on their boards. Researchers point to the breadth of experience, perspectives and independence that gender diversity brings to board performance. Greater diversity could have a similar impact on our nation’s highest court.
Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, recently said: “Our nearest neighbor, Canada, has four women on its nine-member court, and one is their chief justice. And they’re a great group. Now what’s the matter with us? You know, we can do better.”
We can—and must—do better. There are highly qualified women available for this position. Appointing another woman to the Supreme Court will benefit its diversity and credibility. In turn, it will strengthen the rule of law.
Ilene H. Lang
President & Chief Executive Officer
For media inquiries: please contact Susan Nierenberg, Catalyst, (646) 388-7744, [email protected], or Mike Otterman, Catalyst, (646)388-7737, [email protected].
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, 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.