News and Announcements

Catalyst Announces Winners of 2006 Awards: BP p.l.c., The Chubb Corporation, and Safeway Inc. Recognized for Outstanding Initiatives to Advance Women in Business

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation, to Chair Catalyst's Annual Gala Dinner on March 16, 2006

Capping a year of significant interest in issues relating to women’s achievement and advancement in business, Catalyst today announced that BP p.l.c., The Chubb Corporation, and Safeway Inc. are the recipients of the 2006 Catalyst Award. Every year since 1987, Catalyst has honored strategic business initiatives that result in the recruitment, development, and advancement of women in the workplace. Through its respected research, innovative advisory services for member corporations and firms, comprehensive conferences, and the Catalyst Award, Catalyst shapes public discourse on issues relating to women at work and drives change for both women and business. 

“Catalyst Award winners understand that in today’s global marketplace, advancing women and promoting diversity is a strategic business imperative with bottom line impact,” said Catalyst President Ilene H. Lang. “Their leadership recognizes the advantage of building a diverse management team that reflects their customers and employees and reaches new markets. As drivers of positive change, these three outstanding initiatives are innovative and replicable, with significant, measurable results.”

In creating accountability, demanding more representative management teams, empowering employees to take charge of their careers and advancement, and requiring a steadfast commitment to diversity, this year’s winning initiatives exemplify the Catalyst mission—to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work.

BP’s Global Path to Diversity and Inclusion aims to further prepare the company for the 21st century global marketplace by continuing to diversify its employee base, with particular emphasis on local representation in varied geographic markets. As a global company, BP understands that what constitutes diversity varies greatly across regions and encompasses characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, sexual orientation and identity, religion, and tribe. BP, therefore, communicates this concept of diversity throughout the organization and works to ensure that its locally based leadership reflects the ommunities in which the company operates. Led by a team of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) practitioners, the initiative comprises a range of programs, including career development offerings for diverse, high-potential employees; a diversity and inclusion index which tracks employees’ perceptions; global diversity networks; and dynamic workshops on issues related to gender, race, and nationality. Accountability measures are rigorous and transparent: Performance contracts rate executives on behaviors (including those related to D&I) and business results, and these ratings directly impact bonus pay. In addition, all D&I targets are tracked quarterly; if goals are not met, the leadership intervenes. The success of BP’s Global Path to Diversity and Inclusion is clear: Women’s representation among the 600 most senior leadership positions—the first stage in its change process—increased from 9 percent to 17 percent between 2000 and 2005.

The Chubb Corporation’s Reach Up, Reach Out, and Reach Down is a comprehensive initiative that empowers employees to take charge of their own careers in an inclusive environment, while reaching out to and coaching their colleagues. Powerful Employee Resource Groups, including the Minority Development Council, Women’s Development Council, Gay & Lesbian Employee Network, and Asian-American Business Network, are given unique access to senior leadership. In both identifying external business opportunities and acting as a leadership development training ground, these targeted employee groups are able to affect company programs and policies, leveraging their impact throughout the business. The initiative also includes mechanisms to identify high-potential employees and an array of learning and development offerings. Reach Up, Reach Out, and Reach Down features several formal accountability mechanisms, including the ability to meet specific diversity goals on employee performance evaluations—evaluations which impact merit increases and bonus compensation. In addition, senior managers set goals for developing and promoting diverse candidates and report  their results to the CEO and Board of Directors. Chubb’s initiative has enabled women’s representation at the senior vice president and executive vice president levels to increase markedly; women’s representation at the SVP level increased from 16 percent in 2001 to 23 percent in 2005, while women’s representation at the EVP level increased from 0 to 17 percent during the same time period.  

Safeway’s Championing Change for Women: An Integrated Strategy features comprehensive career development and mentoring programs combined with rigorous tracking and accountability systems, which have resulted in the substantial advancement of women— including women of color—to management positions. Safeway seeks to promote management talent from within, drawing from all levels, including entry-level store employees, to fill its leadership ranks. Diversity Advisory Boards, which work with division and corporate leaders, support the initiative, providing strategic direction on issues of diversity and inclusion; observing progress on diversity goals; and playing a role in maintaining consistency across locations. Driven by an emphasis on advancing all talent and monitored through rigorous tracking and accountability systems, the initiative features such innovative elements as a mentoring program that requires all managers to mentor diverse talent and the Retail Leadership Development program, which trains retail employees to be store managers, a path which can lead to corporate management. Safeway tracks the success of its programs by ensuring that compensation and advancement criteria include employees’ abilities to meet diversity goals. This emphasis on accountability ensures results: Since 2000, there has been a 40-percent increase in the representation of women in store management ranks, a 34-percent increase in the representation of white women and a 65-percent increase in the representation of women of color. The representation of women at the vice president level rose from 12 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2005. 

These Award-winning companies will present in-depth discussions of their initiatives at the 2006 Catalyst Awards Conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on March 16, 2006. Later that evening, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation, will chair the 2006 Annual Catalyst Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria, which will honor this year’s Award winners. This Dinner typically attracts more than 1,500 guests representing 260 companies and more than 75 CEOs and leaders of major corporations and firms. 

For more information on Catalyst Award initiatives and the Catalyst Awards Conference, please visit

About the Catalyst Award
The Catalyst Award is presented annually to companies and firms with outstanding initiatives that result in women’s career development and advancement. Catalyst’s rigorous, year-long examination of initiatives and their measurable results culminates in intensive, on-site reviews at finalist companies. The Catalyst Award provides the business community with replicable success models that are good for business and good for women. For more information about Catalyst and the Catalyst Award application process, please visit

Previous Catalyst Award Winners (1987-2005)


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


About Catalyst
Catalyst is the leading research and advisory services organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work. As an independent, nonprofit membership organization, it conducts research on all aspects of women’s career advancement and provides strategic and web-based consulting services globally. With the support and confidence of member corporations and firms, Catalyst remains connected to business  and its changing needs. In addition, Catalyst honors exemplary business initiatives that promote women’s leadership with the annual Catalyst Award. With offices in New York, San Jose, and Toronto, Catalyst is consistently ranked No. 1 among U.S. nonprofits focused on women’s issues by The American Institute of Philanthropy.

About BP p.l.c.
BP is of one of the world's largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items. BP employs more than 100,000 people and operates in more than 100 countries worldwide. BP's family of brands include Amoco, Aral, ARCO, BP, and Castrol. 

About The Chubb Corporation
The Chubb Corporation is a holding company for a family of insurance companies informally known as the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. The multi-billion-dollar organization provides property and casualty insurance to personal and commercial customers worldwide through 8,000 independent agents and brokers. Chubb’s global network includes branches and affiliates throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia. 

About Safeway Inc.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The company operates 1,776 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $35.6 billion in 2004.