About Catalyst CEO Champions For Change

Women represent about 50% of the world’s population.1 Their contributions to the global economy are significant: countries with at least half of their population of women participating in the labor force contribute 62% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).2 Yet women’s representation in business leadership remains staggeringly low. Only about 5% of Fortune Global 500 companies are run by women CEOs.3 In the United States, women hold just 27% of board seats in the Fortune 5004 and 32% of board seats in the S&P 500.5 For women women from marginalized racial and ethnic groups, the numbers are even more dismal.6 We have to change that. Because progress for women is progress for everyone. That’s why on International Women’s Day 2017, we launched Catalyst CEO Champions For Change.

Today, our group includes more than 80 high-profile CEOs whose companies represent more than 11 million employees and over $3 trillion in revenue globally.7 These leaders are drawing a line in the sand and publicly pledging to advance more women, particularly women of color, into senior leadership positions and onto their boards. And they are sharing their data on women’s advancement so we can collectively measure and report our progress.

Affirmation of Support

We believe in the power of diversity and inclusion. As business leaders we know that making room for everyone to succeed at work is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing. It improves innovation, boosts corporate performance, and energizes employee engagement.8 Progress has been made, but there is still much to do. Women, particularly women from marginalized racial and ethnic groups, are underrepresented in senior levels of management and on boards. It’s time for more rapid change and that requires taking a bold stand.

As senior leaders, we hold ourselves and our teams accountable to make change happen and accelerate diversity, inclusion, and equity of opportunity within our organizations. We won’t rest until we can all succeed together.

To that end, we commit to continuing to strengthen the diversity and inclusion metrics, policies, and practices across our organizations. We commit to reviewing and improving the pipeline of women of diverse backgrounds for advancement and empowering them with a strong support system. We commit to identifying and working to reduce any structural barriers or unconscious bias that may exist and to doing everything we can to continue to build an inclusive workplace culture.

We will drive these actions with Catalyst, a global thought leader and partner in advancing women through workplace inclusion for 60+ years. And, in partnership with Catalyst, we will publicly report on our collective progress, so we can continue to learn, improve, and accelerate change and inclusive prosperity for everyone.

Organizational Commitment

On behalf of my organization, I will work to:

Personal Commitment

As a leader, I personally commit to:

Criteria to Join

Beginning in 2019, Catalyst expanded the criteria to join this community, reflecting the caliber of the Catalyst CEO Champions For Change and to encourage all organizations to set high standards for the representation of women, particularly women identifying with marginalized ethnic and racial groups, in leadership.

To join this community:

Learn more.

  1. Population, female (% of total population) [Data set]. (2021). The World Bank.
  2. Empowering women: How COVID-19 has affected the gender gap. (2021). Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
  3. Hinchliffe, E. (2022, August 3). Female CEOs run just 4.8% of the world’s largest businesses on the Global 500. Fortune.
  4. Missing pieces report: The board diversity census of women and minorities on Fortune 500 boards, 6th edition. (2021). Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte.
  5. 2022 U.S. Spencer Stuart board index. (2022). Spencer Stuart.
  6. Women of color in the United States: Quick Take. (2022). Catalyst.
  7. Catalyst analysis of Catalyst CEO Champions For Change companies.
  8. Why diversity and inclusion matter: Quick Take. (2020). Catalyst.