News and Announcements

New Work-Life Approach Benefits Both Employers and Employees, Advancing Workplaces into the 21st Century

The concept of work-life balance is rooted in the notion that it’s only for working mothers, and those who care about it are typically seen as disinterested in their careers. However, the contemporary workplace must address the needs of a diverse workforce to achieve peak performance. Today, Catalyst introduces an innovative approach called Work-Life Effectiveness (WLE). WLE is designed to move flexibility from an accommodation for one to an organizational tool for all.  It helps organizations identify and implement practical solutions to support individuals, teams, and businesses while addressing the need for organizational sustainability.

This new approach is explored in two guides being released today as part of Catalyst’s Making Change series. Making Change—Beyond Flexibility: Work-Life Effectiveness as an Organizational Tool for High Performance explains the framework and concepts of WLE and shows organizations how they can incorporate WLE into their business strategies. Making Change—Beyond Flexibility: Creating Champions for Work-Life Effectiveness highlights the critical role leaders play in creating WLE culture and describes how they, along with managers, employees, and human resources practitioners, can become WLE champions.

“Implementing WLE in an organization ensures that high-priority work is accomplished while simultaneously addressing the needs and desires of employees,” said Meryle Mahrer Kaplan, Ph.D., Catalyst Vice President of Advisory Services. “It creates a mutually beneficial work environment where employees can be energized, focused, and engaged at work while helping an organization sustain high performance and maintain its competitive advantages. It’s a win-win for employers and employees alike.”

Recent Catalyst research found that both women and men around the world value a good fit between life and work and a work environment that fosters support for doing a good job. These values were ranked by employees above compensation and advancement opportunities, indicating the importance of effective talent management to employees. At the same time, businesses are constantly seeking new ways to achieve and maintain quality, productivity, and innovation. WLE addresses both of these demands.

“Catalyst’s extensive experience as consultants advising global corporations on recruiting, developing, and maximizing talent allows us to share our expertise in Work-Life Effectiveness,” said Dr. Kaplan. “WLE provides the foundation to spark positive organizational change and can transform a work culture into one mutually beneficial for everyone.”

Making Change—Beyond Flexibility: Work-Life Effectiveness as an Organizational Tool for High Performance and Making Change—Beyond Flexibility: Creating Champions for Work-Life Effectiveness are exclusively sponsored by Exxon Mobil Corporation. To learn more about the publications, please visit To order copies, contact Tracie Maloney at 646-388-7739, [email protected]. For media inquiries, contact Serena Fong at 646-388-7757, [email protected], or Jeff Barth at 646-388-7725, [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 the support of more than 370 member organizations, Catalyst is the premier resource for research, information, and trusted advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.