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Catalyst Receives Proclamation from New York City Council, Applauds Passage of Bill Promoting Greater Diversity on Boards

From left: Serena Fong, Vice President, Government Affairs, Deborah Gillis, President & Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst, New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito.


NEW YORK, NY (April 7, 2016)—Catalyst, the global expert on accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion, today received a proclamation from the New York City Council for its efforts to promote the advancement and equality of women in the workplace. Part of Catalyst’s actions included supporting and contributing to the passage of legislation requiring the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to produce a voluntary survey to be distributed to all prospective city contractors that would collect racial, ethnic and gender information on their executives and board members. 

Currently, companies that contract with New York City are not required to report on the gender and racial makeup of their board and executives. City Council Members Elizabeth S. Crowley and Darlene Mealey—co-prime sponsors of the legislation—worked together to take action and sponsor legislation that requires this information and ensures that New York City does not fall behind other cities, states and countries that have implemented this type of reporting.

Catalyst President and CEO Deborah Gillis was on hand to receive the honor from Council Member Crowley following the Council’s vote and passing of the bill.

"Catalyst research shows that having more women on boards improves organizational innovation and overall financial performance—making the world around us better and our workplaces more inclusive," said Gillis. "We applaud City Council Members Crowley and Mealey for their leadership and dedication to bringing forth legislation to increase representation of women on boards, which is not just good for New York City businesses, but for our greater society."

“This legislation is not only fair and smart, it promotes opportunity. Diversity matters in the corporate world and also impacts the bottom line. Innovative and informative Catalyst studies have proven that diversity improves financial performance and productivity, contributing to greater economic growth,” said Crowley.  “This legislation will provide the information needed to ensure that city-contracted companies are promoting diversity as well as ensuring all New Yorkers have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

“Citywide, we have made important progress toward working with contractors that truly reflect the City’s diversity, and we will continue to pursue this goal,” said Mealey.  “However, merely hiring a diverse group of contractors is not enough. We must make our workforces more inclusive to gain the maximum benefit from our increasingly diverse workforce.”

For more information on Catalyst’s research on diversity and inclusive solutions, visit

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 supporting organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.