Towards a more Equitable Future: The Catalyst CEO Champions For Change (2020)

14th December 2020

Posted In: The Topic

Catalyst is a global non-profit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst drives change with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership—because progress for women is progress for everyone.

The Catalyst CEO Champions For Change represent more than 70 high-profile CEOs, whose companies represent more than 10 million employees and over $3 trillion in revenue globally. These leaders have boldly pledged to advance more women, particularly women of colour, into senior leadership positions. Last year Champion companies outpaced their global peers in advancing women at every level – from managers to board members. One particular bright spot is board representation. Women at Champion companies held 31.6% of board seats, compared to the 26% of board seats held by women at S&P 500 companies.

This year, once again, Catalyst CEO Champions For Change are advancing women across the leadership pipeline, according to the newly released Towards a More Equitable Future: The Catalyst CEO Champions For Change report. The report also identifies ways global companies can collect data on ethnicity and race in their organisations.

The tangible progress in women’s representation in the global leadership pipeline shows women at Champion companies comprise nearly 40% of managers and nearly a third of senior-level and board leadership:

•Executives: 27.0% (vs. global companies: 23%)

•Senior managers: 29.5% (vs. global companies: 29%)

•Managers: 39.3% (vs. global companies: 37%)

•Board directors: 31.6% (vs. S&P 500: 26%)

According to Catalyst, the pandemic and protests against racism have led to a corporate awakening, propelling more companies to dig deep and commit to taking action to break down systemic barriers created by racial and ethnic inequities. Long before 2020, Catalyst CEO Champions For Change have been engaged in this effort, and they continue to lead the way toward creating more inclusive workplaces.

“Across all levels of our company, we’re committed to increasing the representation and visibility of diverse talent, and our partnership with the Catalyst CEO Champions For Change will help us to accelerate that progress,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO at Bank of America. “We have also built on work we have had underway throughout our company’s history to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace and have seen increases in diverse representation in nearly every area.”

The report explores ways to measure the representation of women who identify with underrepresented ethnic and racial groups and provides a three-step plan to help organisations accelerate their journey toward equity:

•Step 1: Get educated on intersectionality.

•Step 2: Establish a system for collecting reliable data on race and ethnicity.

•Step 3: Start the conversation about racism.

“Women, and particularly women of colour, continue to face entrenched barriers to advancement in companies across the world, but it’s important that Catalyst CEO Champions For Change companies continue to demonstrate collective progress,” said Catalyst President & CEO Lorraine Hariton.

“We know more work needs to be done, but the data show positive gains, and we’re proud to partner with these CEOs in this effort.”