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Accenture, Ernst & Young, and WellPoint Earn Prestigious Catalyst Award For Advancing Women In Their Ranks

Submitted by: Catalyst, Inc.

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity

Posted: Jan 15, 2003 – 11:00 PM EST


BP Chief Executive The Lord Browne of Madingley To Chair March 27 Gala Dinner

Jan. 15 /CSRwire/ - NEW YORK, NY - Catalyst celebrates its 41st year of promoting women in business by announcing the winners of this year's prestigious Catalyst Award given to outstanding companies implementing innovative, effective, and measurable initiatives to advance women. The 2003 Catalyst Award winners are: Accenture, Ernst & Young, and WellPoint.

"Each year our award is given to companies with proven initiatives that attract, advance and retain women at all levels," said Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst. "The 2003 Catalyst Award is given to Accenture, Ernst & Young and WellPoint for innovative leadership that is raising the bar in executive suites around the globe."

Accenture's, Great Place to Work for Women initiative was created in 1994 and launched globally in 1999 to foster a culture in which female employees around the world can achieve their individual career aspirations. The strategy employs a variety of innovative global people management processes using metrics to ensure accountability and implementation in every country and region. Ernst & Young's effort, Promoting Change: Developing & Advancing Women, combines an active career planning and development process with a targeted approach that incorporates flexibility in the culture. The firm's senior leadership and Center for the New Workforce champion these endeavors and progress is reviewed quarterly by the Americas Executive Board. WellPoint has created the unique Human Resources Planning Program (HRP), in their initiative Harnessing High Potential Talent: A Strategic Approach. Started in 1997 by the senior leadership, HRP provides tools for management employees, working with their supervisors to structure career paths, and develop skills and experiences that work toward achieving their career aspirations.

The Lord Browne of Madingley, Group Chief Executive of BP p.l.c., will chair the Catalyst Award Dinner being held on March 27, 2003 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Last year's dinner overflowed the Waldorf-Astoria ballroom and was attended by 165 companies and more than 70 Fortune 500 CEOs. Journalist Andrea Mitchell of NBC News will serve as the 2003 Catalyst Award

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.

Thomas J. Engibous, Chairman, President and CEO of Texas Instruments and Chairman of Catalyst's Board of Directors, noted, "Catalyst engages in a rigorous and thoughtful process of awarding companies that understand the bottom-line strategy for tapping women's talents. All of the winners have measurable results -- so the proof is in the numbers."

About the Catalyst Award Conference

Catalyst will host a full-day conference in addition to the award ceremony. Each organization will present an analysis of the winning initiatives. In addition, there will be candid discussions about personal success strategies with high-level global businesswomen, as well as workshops to outline workable strategies to recruit, retain, and advance women.

About Catalyst

Catalyst is the premier nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, with offices in New York, San Jose and Toronto. The leading source of information on women in business for the past four decades, Catalyst has the knowledge and tools that help companies recruit, retain and advance top talent and enable women to reach their potential. Our solutions-oriented approach -- through Research, Advisory Services, Corporate Board Placement, and the Catalyst Award -- has earned the confidence of global business leaders. For additional information about the Award, please visit our web site at http://www.catalystwomen.org .

Previous Catalyst Award Winners (1987-2002):

The Allstate Corporation
American Airlines
The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care
Arthur Andersen & Co., S.C.
American Express
Avon Mexico
Avon Products, Inc.
Bank of Montreal
Baxter Healthcare Corp.
Bayer Corporation
Charles Schwab & Company
Con Edison
Connecticut Consortium for Child Care
Continental Insurance
Corning Glass Works
Corning Incorporated
Deloitte & Touche LLP
The Dow Chemical Company
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Eastman Kodak Company
The Equitable Financial Companies
Fannie Mae
Gannett Co., Inc.
General Mills
Hewlett-Packard Company
Hoechst Celanese Corporation
J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
John Hancock Financial
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Knight-Ridder Inc.
Marriott International Inc.
McDonald's Corporation
Mobil Corporation
Morrison & Foerster
The Northern Trust Company
Pitney Bowes Inc.
The Procter & Gamble Company
Sara Lee Corporation
SC Johnson Wax
TD Bank Financial Group
Tenneco Inc.
Texas Instruments
US Sprint Communications Company
U S West, Inc.

About the 2003 Catalyst Award Winners

Great Place to Work for Women

Accenture developed and implemented he "Great Place to Work for Women" initiative in 1994 to create a culture in which female employees around the world can achieve their individual career aspirations. Initially developed and implemented in the United States, the program was expanded globally in 1999. Accenture uses a variety of innovative processes such as geographic scorecards, global surveys and performance appraisals to ensure that company leadership remains accountable for the success of the initiative and the ability of the initiative to be replicated globally. Employees also have access to career counselors, mentoring programs for women and affinity networks -- networking groups with shared interests. Although the "Great Place to Work for Women" initiative is managed globally, local offices focus on the issues most relevant to them. In addition, in a unique approach for a professional services company, Accenture has developed initiatives to help employees balance their work and personal lives, in essence making "flexibility" an integral part of doing business. Together, these efforts have resulted in increased success for women at Accenture. The percentage of female "partners," or senior-level executives globally has increased from 5.8 percent in 1994 to 10 percent of all partners in 2002. In 2002, women comprised 14.1 percent of all promotions to partner globally and 19.0 percent of all promotions to partner in the United States. Women currently comprise 17 percent of Accenture's Management Committee, the company's senior leadership group.

Accenture is a management consulting and technology services company, with more than 75,000 employees in 47 countries.

Ernst & Young
Promoting Change: Developing & Advancing Women

Ernst & Young's Promoting Change: Developing & Advancing Women is a broad-based effort that combines an active career development process of targeted supports for women with a work design approach that embeds flexibility. The firm promotes local ownership through gender equity and work-life integration steering committees at the business unit level. Key elements of Ernst & Young's effort include a women's leadership conference attended by members of the firm's governing body; innovative mentoring programs for women at both senior and mid-career levels; active professional women's networks in many offices across the firm, including a regional network for women of color; an annual award dedicated to recognizing leaders in women's development; and a comprehensive effort to support and promote the use of flexibility that has become embedded firmly in the organization's culture. Firm leadership commits to the development of women through Balanced Scorecards. For top leadership, the "People Perspective" on the scorecard for the America's Executive Board captures the importance of developing women. In addition, managing partners at the firm have scorecard targets for their business units that are reviewed on a quarterly basis by firm leadership. Since Ernst & Young's initiative commenced in 1996, the representation of women at the partner, principal, and director level has more than doubled from 7 percent to 15 percent, and the promotion rate for women at the partner level has more than doubled between 1996 and 2002 -- from 12 percent to 25 percent. Women now comprise 13 percent of all executive management positions (16 percent of the Americas Executive Board), up from 0 in the mid 1990s.

Ernst & Young is a leading global professional services firm, with 110,000
employees in more than 130 countries.

Harnessing High Potential Talent: A Strategic Approach

WellPoint has created and implemented the Human Resources Planning Program (HRP), a system that provides tools for employees, supervisors, human resources professionals, and senior leaders to plan, monitor, and evaluate career development opportunities for all employees at and above the director level. In place since 1997, HRP includes metrics and quarterly reviews of employee ratings, promotions, attrition/hires, developmental opportunities, officer appointments, and assignments to help achieve a diverse workforce. Candid "challenge sessions" motivate supervisors to develop career paths for
their employees, including those who may have been who may have been overlooked or underestimated. The annual "challenge sessions" begin at the division level and culminate with a presentation to the Board of Directors who evaluates senior leadership as well as gender and ethnic diversity company-wide. Since the implementation of WellPoint's HRP, women's representation in the executive ranks has increased substantially. Four of WellPoint's fourteen corporate officers are women, up from 1 in 1997. WellPoint has 18 women in key top positions: 4 of 12 Presidents and EVPs (25%), 5 SVPs (26%), and 9 General Managers (36%). Additionally, ten women hold key jobs with profit/loss responsibility (up from seven in 2001), including two who head major subsidiaries. Currently WellPoint's nine-member Board of Directors includes four women.

WellPoint's 17,000 employees serve the health care needs of more than 13 million medical members and approximately 46.6 million specialty members nationwide. WellPoint may be found on the web at http://www.wellpoint.com .

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