Innovative Models for Change

Catalyst’s series of Practices describe innovative organizational efforts that provide promising examples for our supporter organizations. While every organization’s culture is unique, our Practices help supporters and the business community learn how organizations, including those with Catalyst Award-winning initiatives, have tackled a variety of diversity, inclusion, and business challenges. 

Catalyst defines its Practices as strategies that support diversity and inclusion efforts, including both programs specific to a group or region, and broad, company-wide strategies that further the advancement of women and other diverse groups. 

More than 100 Practices from organizations around the world are currently available to Catalyst supporters. 


Practice Spotlight: Manulife Japan
Manulife Japan recognizes the critical importance of bringing more women into its organization and enhancing their capacity to develop, advance, and grow their representation in leadership levels. Historically, there have been deep-rooted cultural norms that have prevented women's equitable participation at all levels of the company. In response to this challenging reality, Manulife Japan developed an iniative in 2013 to recruit, retain, and advance women. The company focuses on developing women employees through a three-pronged approach of training, career support, networking, and supplemental programs to help women advance with cultural change efforts, including a stron focus on work-life effectiveness.  

Unique Process

Each year, Catalyst sets strategic priorities based on our research, our supporters’ areas of interest, and new developments in the workplace and global markets. Catalyst experts use these priorities to determine what kinds of Practices will be most valuable to our supporters, and identify promising examples of these through our staff, network, and research. We then gather materials about these initiatives, which we evaluate based on our robust knowledge of programs and using our Catalyst Award models and criteria to help determine merit. 

As a next step, the team contacts select organizations to learn about their Practices. If we determine that it is appropriate to write a formal Practice, we write it in accordance with Catalyst’s editorial guidelines and in close collaboration with the organization. We never release proprietary information without prior approval.

Catalyst Practices Recognition Program

The Catalyst Practices Recognition Program, launched in 2013, is a global model that allows us to more formally recognize Practice work related to topical themes identified by Catalyst. In 2013 we recognized four Practices that focused on sponsorship as an intervention.

For fiscal year 2014, we focused on Practices that help women and other diverse groups advance at various career stages—early, mid, and advanced. These efforts vary depending on the target population and organization’s focus. Example activities include diversity recruitment, leadership development, mentoring and sponsorship, work-life effectiveness supports, and board preparation programs.

The following Practices received 2014 recognition:

Making the Most of our Practices

As you review a practice, consider the following questions:

  • What are the key elements of the practice that make it effective?

  • What kinds of data does the organization track?

  • How does the organization assess the impact of the practice?

  • Are there specific elements of the program that would not work in my organization’s culture? How might they be adjusted to fit my organization’s needs?

  • Are there elements of the practice that are specific to the region in which it is implemented? How might those be tailored to the different regional and/or cultural contexts in which my organization operates?

  • What is the role of the organization’s senior leadership?

  • Can my organization make a strong business case for this type of program, policy, or activity? What was this organization’s business case?

Contact Us

What unique diversity and inclusion, talent management, or overall business program or effort is your organization currently working on? Let us know! We may want to highlight your great work in one of our research reports, tools, or other products. Email the Practices Team or call us at  +1 212 514 7600.