Kimberly-Clark wins 2014 Catalyst Award for efforts to expand leadership opportunities for women

kimberly clarkDALLAS — Kimberly-Clark Corporation is one of two companies that will receive the prestigious 2014 Catalyst Award, which annually honors innovative initiatives that expand leadership and opportunities for women and business, Catalyst announced today. Kimberly-Clark shares this year’s Catalyst Award with Lockheed Martin, the security and aerospace firm.

Since 1987, the Catalyst Award has recognized 82 initiatives at 76 organizations worldwide, focusing on the recruitment, development and advancement of women in workplaces. Kimberly-Clark participated in a rigorous, year-long application and review process that included extensive interviews with dozens of Kimberly-Clark employees and leaders against criteria including business rationale, senior leadership support, accountability, communication, employee engagement, innovation and measurable results.

“Women are directly responsible for about 80 percent of purchases across our business. We must cultivate a diversity of perspectives to drive innovation and business results,” said Thomas J. Falk, chairman and chief executive officer for Kimberly-Clark Corp. “Our Kimberly-Clark team is honored to receive this recognition from Catalyst. The award represents an important milestone in our journey to make Kimberly-Clark the very best place for talented women and men to grow and build their careers.”

Kimberly-Clark’s winning initiative, “Unleash Your Power: Strengthening the Business With Women Leaders,” is driven by the Company’s strategy for building a diverse and inclusive organization that looks, thinks and behaves like the consumers who use and purchase Kimberly-Clark’s essential products in their daily lives. Unleash Your Power includes other key elements as well: fostering global networking forums and mentoring relationships for women; promoting specific policies that enable work-life flexibility to attract and retain women in leadership roles; defining specific business and action plans for recruiting, developing and retaining talented women across the enterprise; and many others.

Unleash Your Power has delivered significant results in the last four years:

  • 71 percent increase in the number of women who hold director-level or higher leadership positions globally.
  • Doubled the number of women in the U.S. with racially or ethnically diverse backgrounds in “director-plus” roles since 2009.
  • Internal promotions of women to “director-plus” jobs have increased significantly, from 19 percent to 44 percent.

“With Unleash Your Power, we collected lots of data about our performance and used those findings to hold a mirror against our organization, to dispel conventional wisdom about our practices and build a fact-based case for action,” said Sue Dodsworth, chief diversity officer for Kimberly-Clark Corp. “We’re still making progress, but today we have a better understanding of our current state, how people move through our organization, where the issues are and how change can occur.”

“This year we celebrate two unique initiatives in two very different industries,” said Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst. “What they have in common is a commitment to making the advancement of women part of company culture, be it in engineering or consumer products. With a strong focus on strengthening pipelines of talented women, these Award-winning initiatives prove that having a diverse workforce benefits all and has a transformational impact on business, communities, and lives.”

For complete descriptions of this year’s Catalyst Award-winning initiatives and previous Award winners, please visit http://catalyst.org/catalyst-award-winners.

Kimberly-Clark will discuss its winning initiative in depth at the 2014 Catalyst Awards Conference, which will be held April 2 in New York. The 2014 Catalyst Awards Dinner will follow the conference, a celebration attended by CEOs, executive leaders and accomplished guests representing nearly 100 global organizations from the ranks of business, philanthropy, academics and non-profits.

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