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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Companies advancing women

Catalyst, an organization focused on women's issues, announced its awards yesterday recognizing business initiatives that advance women. I like the fact that Catalyst not only looks at the initiatives but judges whether they get results. We all are way too familiar with initiatives that go nowhere. Congrats to those who have done it right!
* Goldman Sachs' Senior Women's Initiative significantly increased the number of women managing directors and partners: among the successes, globally, the number of women partners has doubled from 2001 to 2006.
* PepsiCo's Women of Color Multicultural Alliance focuses on attracting, retaining, and developing women of color in the middle and senior management ranks at PepsiCo. Key findings include that, from 2002-2006, the number of women of color at the senior management/director/VP level has increased; representation for women of color on the board of directors has doubled.
* PricewaterhouseCoopers' Unique People Experience was created to reduce turnover and make staff more productive. A major element was going to a more team-based approach where groups of partners and staff serve a portfolio of clients. The initiative paid off: among the results, women's representation at the partner level has increased 30 percent from 2001 to 2006.
* Scotiabank found a strong business case to support the creation of its Advancement of Women Initiative. The bank devised a strategy to help develop more women for senior positions. They also came up with programs to help women network and give them visibility to senior leaders. Through these initiatives, Scotiabank has significantly improved senior women's representation at the bank: the number of women at all senior levels - from vice president and above - nearly doubled from 2003 to 2006.
"This is about business strategy," said Julie Nugent, a chair of Catalyst's award committee. Over time, diversity and advancing women has helped these organizations be successful."
The awards will be presented March 21 in New York. For more information go to


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