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K-C Initiative Wins 2014 Catalyst Award

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Kimberly-Clark Corp., Dallas, Texas, USA, 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, New York, N.Y., announced this past week. K-C 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. K-C participated in a rigorous, year-long application and review process that included extensive interviews with dozens of its 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," said Thomas J. Falk, K-C chairman and CEO. "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 K-C'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 past four years:

  • 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.
  • Internal promotions of women to "director-plus" jobs have increased significantly, from 19% to 44%.

"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 K-C. "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."

Catalyst is a nonprofit organization with a mission to expand opportunities for women and business. It is dedicated to creating more inclusive workplaces "where employees representing every dimension of diversity can thrive."


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