Kimberly-Clark 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. 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% of purchases across our business. We must cultivate a diversity of perspectives to drive innovation and business results," says Thomas Falk, chairman and chief executive for Kimberly-Clark. "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 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.
K-C's Unleash Your Power program has resulted in a 71% 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; and internal promotions of women to "director-plus" jobs have increased from 19% to 44%.