News and Announcements

General Electric, Harley-Davidson, and Shell Oil Company Earn Prestigious Catalyst Award for Efforts to Advance Women Employees

Henry A. McKinnell, Jr., Ph.D., Chair & CEO of Pfizer Inc, to chair March 25 Gala Dinner

Catalyst announced the winners of the prestigious Catalyst Award, given to innovative, effective, and measurable initiatives to advance women. The 2004 Catalyst Awards will be presented to General Electric Company, Harley-Davidson, Inc., and Shell Oil Company.

“Every year, we reinforce our mission to advance women by spotlighting companies that do outstanding jobs of attracting, retaining, and promoting women employees,” said Catalyst President Ilene H. Lang. “Each of this year's winning initiatives has succeeded using strategies that lead in their industry and provide a mix of strong lessons and examples for the business community.” 

General Electric's initiative, Developing Women Leaders: Synergistic Forces Driving Change, aligns the goals of Session C, the company's performance management and succession planning system, with those of the General Electric Women's Network to provide women the information, tools, and experiences to become leaders.
Harley-Davidson's , Optimizing Talent: A Culture of Empowerment , encourages the development and promotion of diverse talent through a flattened organizational structure, intensive employee development and empowerment to make business decisions, and a performance management process which ensures the visibility of talent across functional boundaries.
Shell's initiative, Valuing and Leveraging Diversity to Become a Model of Inclusiveness, focuses on developing and advancing women and people of color. This is a comprehensive effort based on the organization's business principles and includes tools to assess current state, map future goals, and provide specific direction for diversity management. 

Henry A. McKinnell, Jr., Chair & CEO Pfizer Inc, will chair the Catalyst Awards Dinner and preside over the star-filled room at the March 25, 2004 Awards ceremony held annually at the Waldorf Astoria. The dinner attracts over 175 companies and more than 50 Fortune 500 CEOs.

About the Catalyst Award
Catalyst annually honors companies and firms with outstanding initiatives that result in women's career development and advancement. Catalyst conducts a yearlong evaluation of initiatives and their measurable results, accountability, replicability, and originality. Thomas J. Engibous, Chairman, President & CEO of Texas Instruments and Chairman of Catalyst's Board of Directors, proclaimed, “Catalyst challenges its applicants with a rigorous evaluation process that sets a standard in itself. As a result, the business world is strengthened by the competition.”
Download 2004 nomination form
Request 2005 nomination form
Download 2004 Dinner invite

About the Catalyst Awards Conference
Catalyst will host a full-day conference in addition to the Awards ceremony. Each company will present an in-depth analysis of its initiative. In addition, there will be candid discussions about personal success strategies with high-level global businesswomen/businessmen and workshops to outline strategies companies can employ to better recruit, retain, and advance women.
Request 2004 Conference invite 

About Catalyst
Catalyst is the leading research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, with offices in New York, San Jose, and Toronto. As an independent, nonprofit membership organization, Catalyst uses a solutions-oriented approach that has earned the confidence of business leaders around the world. For additional information, please visit or call 212-514-7600. 

Previous Catalyst Award Winners (1987-2003):


The Allstate Corporation
American Airlines
The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care
Arthur Andersen & Co., S.C.
American Express
Avon Mexico
Avon Products, Inc.
Bank of Montreal
Baxter Healthcare Corp.
Bayer Corporation
Charles Schwab & Company
Con Edison
Connecticut Consortium for Child Care
Continental Insurance
Corning Glass Works
Corning Incorporated
Deloitte & Touche LLP
The Dow Chemical Company
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Eastman Kodak Company
The Equitable Financial Companies
Ernst & Young LLP
Fannie Mae
Gannett Co., Inc.
Hewlett-Packard Company
Hoechst Celanese Corporation
J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
John Hancock Financial Services
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Knight-Ridder Inc.
Marriott International Inc.
McDonald's Corporation
Mobil Corporation
Morrison & Foerster
The Northern Trust Company
Pitney Bowes Inc.
The Procter & Gamble Company
Sara Lee Corporation
SC Johnson Wax
TD Bank Financial Group
Tenneco Inc.
Texas Instruments
US Sprint Communications Company
U S West, Inc.
WellPoint Health Networks Inc.


About the 2004 Catalyst Award Winners

General Electric Company
Developing Women Leaders: Synergistic Forces Driving Change
General Electric's initiative features an alignment between two core people management efforts: Session C and the General Electric Women's Network (GEWN). Session C has been used to identify and develop top talent at GE since the 1950s; GEWN has been cultivating women leaders since 1998, and is now active through 118 hubs in 60 countries. Top talent identified in Session C is tapped to lead GEWN hubs and regions, giving women hands-on leadership experience. At the same time, ongoing GEWN events provide leadership education opportunities. GEWN operates like a GE business unit, and its annual objectives are set in alignment with overall GE business goals. GEWN goals and results are strengthened by strong senior leadership support. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt regularly visits geographic business unit leaders and network leaders to review business strategy and discuss talent needs. Mega-network events and network leadership activities give his senior executive management team the opportunity to meet with the high-potential female talent pool identified via Session C. The initiative's success is ensured further by strong accountability mechanisms (e.g., all managers at the Executive Band and above should have at least one diverse candidate on their succession slates) and pervasive communication efforts. GE's initiative has yielded impressive results: Representation of women corporate officers increased from 5 percent to 13 percent between 1998 and 2002; representation of women at the Senior Executive Band level increased from 9 percent to 14 percent; and women at the Executive Band level increased from 18 percent to 21 percent during this time.

Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Optimizing Talent: A Culture of Empowerment
Optimizing Talent: A Culture of Empowerment has enabled the company to empower all talent to be true partners in its business. Leadership transformed the organization from a traditional, top-down model to an open and participatory model in which employees are provided with the tools and training necessary to make significant business decisions. A Harley-Davidson business process and a set of core values that all employees are expected to learn and incorporate into their daily work lives is the foundation of this transformation, and they are highlighted at each new employee's formal orientation. Among other things, the values encourage employees to push back on all levels of decisions and take calculated, measured “risks” in their work – a way of operating termed “freedom with fences.” These efforts are underscored by Harley-Davidson's commitment to employee development and lifelong learning, which includes numerous training programs and opportunities. Finally, a performance management and succession planning process that annually brings together all senior leaders within each functional area to discuss employee performance, bench strength, and potential, ensures that employees' talents are visible not just to their own supervisors, but to all managers within their area and across other functional areas. Because of these efforts, Harley-Davidson has seen growth in the representation of women in its senior ranks. For example, women now comprise 17 percent of the Vice President positions ¾ an increase from 5 percent in 1995 ¾ and 29 percent of its corporate officers are women.

Shell Oil Company
Valuing and Leveraging Diversity to Become a Model of Inclusiveness
As part of its continued commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies adopted a Diversity and Inclusiveness (D&I) Standard that includes a strategic diversity framework and outlines long-term goals for women in senior-level jobs. In its implementation of the Group standard, Shell Oil Company in the U.S. has established commitment and accountability systems and stringent assurance processes for meeting D&I requirements throughout the organization. The Diversity Progress Enhancement Project (DPEP) was commissioned by Shell Oil's leadership to assess current state and map the strategic direction of diversity for the future. DPEP components include a scorecard for measuring progress and guidelines for strengthening employee networks -- all intended to enhance Shell's ability to meet the D&I standard. In addition, diversity representation data -- including hiring, attrition, and promotional figures -- are posted on Shell's intranet for all employees to see in order to identify gaps and demonstrate progress in closing them. Shell's efforts have met with tremendous success. Currently, women comprise 25 percent of the employee population and 57 percent of corporate officers. Between 1997 and 2003, women's representation at the senior executive level increased from 8 percent to 32 percent; at the senior management level, it increased from 7 percent to 14 percent; and at the middle management level, it increased from 9 percent to 22 percent.