Catalyst, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes inclusive workplaces for women. It was founded in 1962 by feminist, writer, and advocate Felice Schwartz. Sheila Wellington served as president of Catalyst following Schwartz for ten years. Ilene Lang has been serving as Catalyst's president since 2003.
Catalyst publishes an annual census of women in management and on corporate boards of Fortune 500 and Financial Post 500 companies. In 2010, the organization published a study in the Harvard Business Review, which found that women with MBA degrees earned an average of $4,600 less than men in their first job, even with the same amount of previous work experience. The organization also worked with the U.S. Government Accountability Office to analyze the small growth of women in management positions.
The Catalyst Award honors organizations that showcase organizational innovation, with proven, measurable results in recruitment, development, and advancement of all women, including diverse women.
Each year Catalyst holds an awards conference and dinner in New York City, with former Xerox Corp. chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy as the keynote speaker. Catalyst have awarded initiatives at companies like The Campbell Soup Company, Deloitte LLP, and CH2M HILL.
Selected organizations undergo a rigorous, year-long examination of its initiatives, that culminate in an intensive on-site evaluation. Strategic approaches related to women's advancement in the workplace, which include discrete efforts and that facilitate cultural change are assessed. In addition, these initiatives must benefit women across a range of dimensions, such as race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, generation, nationality, disability, and status of aboriginal or indigenous origin.
At the Catalyst Awards Conference, award winners share their initiatives with Catalyst members and other like-minded organizations. More than 600 people from about 200 organizations attend the conference each year. Initiatives are publicly celebrated at the Catalyst Awards Dinner.
Since 1987, Catalyst has recognized 79 initiatives at 74 organizations with the Catalyst Award. Initiatives have evolved significantly, from discrete programs to recruit, retain, and advance women to culture-changing efforts which recognize the importance for diversity and inclusion.
2012 — Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sodexo.
2011 — Kaiser Permanente, McDonald's Corporation, Time Warner Inc.
2010 — Campbell Soup Company, Deloitte LLP, RBC, Telstra Corporation Limited.
2009 — Baxter International Inc., CH2M HILL, Gibbons P.C., KPMG LLP.
2008 — ING U.S. Financial Services, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
2007 — The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Scotiabank.
2006 — BP p.l.c., The Chubb Corporation, Safeway Inc.
2005 — Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP.
2004 — General Electric Company, Harley-Davidson, Inc., Shell Oil Company U.S.
2003 — Accenture, Ernst & Young LLP, WellPoint Health Networks Inc.
2002 — Bayer Corporation, Fannie Mae, Marriott International, Inc.
2001 — American Express Company, General Mills, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.
2000 — Charles Schwab & Co., IBM Corporation, The Northern Trust Company.