2009 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 MethodologyMar 03, 2010
Catalyst uses a rigorous verification process to authenticate data gathered from public sources, allowing us to compare data over time and across industries and geographies.
In early summer of 2009, Catalyst sent a letter to contacts at each of the FP500 companies. The letter requested that each company verify its total number of board directors and women board directors as well as the name, profession, and gender of each board director as of June 2, 2009. Public companies were also asked to confirm the name and gender of the board chair and each chair of the following committees: Audit, Human Resources/Compensation, and Nominating/Corporate Governance.
In 2009, 478 of FP500 companies (95.6 percent) participated in the verification process.
If companies did not respond to the initial letter, Catalyst staff followed up with calls, emails, and faxed letters. Catalyst ensured that multiple opportunities were provided for contacts to verify the data over a period of three months. Even after repeated attempts to acquire verification, a small percentage of companies did not verify their information. For these companies, Catalyst published the data that had been collected from public sources, including annual reports and management proxy statements.