After a decade of working to advance women in business, Catalyst President Sheila Wellington has decided to step down from the Presidency of Catalyst to return to the world of academia. Ms. Wellington is planning to leave Catalyst this summer to take a clinical professorship in management at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Wellington took over the $2 million organization focused on research in 1993 when founder Felice Schwartz stepped down. Today, 10 years later, Catalyst has offices in New York, Canada and San Jose with a budget of over $8 million and is consistently ranked number one among U.S. nonprofits focused on women’s issues by The American Institute of Philanthropy.
“We are delighted that Sheila Wellington, a respected leader in the advancement of women in business, will be joining NYU Stern as clinical professor,” said Thomas F. Cooley, Dean, NYU Stern. “ As head of Catalyst, Sheila broke new ground through research that identified and addressed issues that are important to women in business. She will not only bring her extraordinary experience to the classroom, but will serve as a superb role model for Stern’s women students.”
Catalyst continues the mission of advancing women in business, but today it does so through a wide range of member services from advisory services and consulting to the Fortune 1000 to publications focused on making change in the workplace and an active speakers bureau. Catalyst’s research has expanded to cover work/life issues and flexibility, barriers and success strategies for women in corporate leadership, law and financial services and the first and only series focused on women of color in corporate management.
“When I first came to Catalyst my goal was to expand our offerings,” remembers Wellington. “The first thing I did was start the census of women on corporate boards. This is based on a core Catalyst value: reliable information is the beginning of change. After the release of the first census, the phones started ringing off the hook with companies wanting to know everything from the methodology of the study to how to join the organization. I knew I had struck a chord and we were off.”
In addition to teaching at NYU Stern, Wellington will continue to serve on the board of the Nuveen Institutional Advisory Corporation. She has also become a member of the board of the United Way of America, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues.
Milestones during Wellington’s leadership of Catalyst include:
· Catalyst releases Flexible Work Arrangements II: Succeeding with Part-Time Options, a study which seeks to understand the impact of flexible work arrangements on long-term career goals and advancement.
· Catalyst establishes a national benchmark of women's progress with the first-ever Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors.
· Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Strategies for Success is released, providing an in-depth view of the barriers women face in the corporate world, and as well as real life best practices companies are using to break down those barriers.
· Catalyst conducts the first Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners to establish a benchmark for women in leadership.
· Catalyst conducts Women in Corporate Leadership: Progress and Prospects, a survey of senior women and CEOs that examines success factors and barriers to women’s advancement.
· Catalyst releases Making Work Flexible: Policy to Practice, a practical, comprehensive guide that shows organizations and managers how to implement and manage flexible work arrangements in corporations and professional firms.
· The first study in Catalyst’s Women of Color research series is released: Women of Color in Corporate Management: A Statistical Picture.
· Catalyst releases A New Approach to Flexibility: Managing the Work/Time Equation, documenting and evaluating flexible work arrangements in business and the professions.
· Catalyst goes international with the release of the first Census of Women Board Directors of Canada, and Closing the Gap: Women's Advancement in Corporate & Professional Canada, produced in partnership with The Conference Board Canada.
· The second Women of Color study is released: Women of Color in Corporate Management: Dynamics of Advancement, focusing specifically on the unique barriers faced by women of color.
· Catalyst responds to the increasing number of dual-career couples with Two Careers, One Marriage: Making It Work in the Workplace, a report which documents the changes and offers recommendations for the workplace.
· Jossey-Bass publishes Advancing Women in Business, a Catalyst guide to best practices from the corporate leaders.
· Catalyst and the National Foundation for Women Business Owners partner to release Women Entrepreneurs: Why Companies Lose Female Talent and What They Can Do About It, a report focusing on the accelerating trend of women starting their own businesses.
· The third and largest report in our Women of Color series is released: Women of Color in Corporate Management: Opportunities & Barriers. This groundbreaking study examines the perceptions and experiences of African-American, Asian-American, and Latina women managers in corporate America.
· Jossey Bass publishes Catalyst’s second book—Creating Women's Networks : A How-To Guide for Women and Companies.
· Catalyst opens Canadian office, based in Toronto.
· Catalyst goes global, replicating our Women in Corporate Leadership study in the U.K. (Breaking the Barriers: Women in Senior Management UK), and releasing Passport to Opportunity: U.S. Women in Global Business, which examines the opportunities and challenges U.S. women face in international corporate management and professional practice.
· Catalyst releases Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity . This study, conducted in cooperation with the University of Michigan Business School and the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan, examines career outcomes for women MBA graduates of leading business schools.
· Catalyst examines the long-term career affects of flexible work arrangements in Flexible Work Arrangements III: A Ten-Year Retrospective of Part-Time Arrangements for Managers and Professionals.
· Be Your Own Mentor is published by Random House, to widespread acclaim, and Sheila Wellington embarks on an extended book tour.
· Catalyst releases The Next Generation: Today’s Professionals, Tomorrow’s Leaders a study examining the generation of men and women born between 1964 and 1975, their current attitudes toward work, and the balance between work and personal life.
· Women in Financial Services: Word on the Street, Women in Law: Making the Case, and Leadership Careers in High Tech: Wired for Success are released, shedding light on their respective industries and further establishing Catalyst’s expertise in the professional world.
· The fourth study in Catalyst’s Women of Color series is released: Women of Color Executives: Their Voices, Their Journeys.
· Catalyst’s Western Region team establishes a home base with new offices in San Jose, California.
· Catalyst and The Conference Board Europe release Women in Leadership: A European Business Imperative and together they hold the first Women in Leadership Conference in Berlin.
· Catalyst releases our fifth report of the Women of Color series: Women of Color in Corporate Management: Three Years Later. The first longitudinal look at the experiences of women of color in the workplace, this study reveals factors that influence career advancement and retention.
· McKinsey provides a pro-bono assessment to help Catalyst maximize the impact of our research.
· The Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors celebrates its 10th anniversary.
· Catalyst releases Catalyst SpectrumSM, a new web-based offering that gives companies the information and tools they need to create customized strategies that leverage diversity and build inclusive cultures.