2023 Catalyst Award Winners to Be Honored at Annual DEI Conference & Dinner

Gaby M. Rojas

The Hartford and UPMC (the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) are this year’s Catalyst Award winners to be honored at the Catalyst Awards Conference & Dinner on March 30, 2023.

The 2023 Catalyst Awards Conference & Dinner—the premier gender equity conference and awards event for advocates of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)—will take place in person at the Hilton Midtown in New York City as well as online. This year’s theme, Accelerating Equity on All Fronts—So Women Thrive, urges leaders to build more gender-equitable workplaces from the frontlines to the C-suite.

Ticket packages and individual tickets are on sale now for both the Conference and Dinner events.

Executives from top global corporations, professional firms, governments, NGOs, and educational institutions will convene at the 2023 Catalyst Awards Conference, as well as at the dinner chaired by Zoetis CEO Kristin Peck and Northrop Grumman Corporation CEO Kathy Warden. Zoetis and Northrop Grumman are also Platinum Sponsors. Hundreds are expected to attend the in-person event—and thousands to join virtually—including the Catalyst Board of Directors and Catalyst CEO Champions For Change.

Target is the 2023 Conference Presenting Sponsor. KPMG is a Platinum Sponsor.

The organizational initiatives receiving this year’s Catalyst Awards are:

The Hartford: A Deliberate and Courageous Transformation

UPMC: Care and Culture Starts and Ends with People: Executive Workforce Demographics

The Hartford: A Deliberate and Courageous Transformation

The Hartford, a Fortune 200 insurance company, has embarked on a journey of significant change born more than ten years ago when many companies were reimagining their futures in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Over the years, The Hartford has created a sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) culture by taking a whole-company approach—implementing accountability measures, addressing unconscious bias in systems that support talent management, and revising other processes and systems throughout its operations.

Its unique DEI strategy, which was accelerated and expanded in 2017, comprises board governance, CEO engagement, leadership accountability for the achievement of representation and pay data goals, and a commitment to the practices that encourage and enable all people to participate and achieve their full potential. 

From the CEO to customer-facing employees and managers, The Hartford’s employees are actively engaged in planning and executing programs to drive DEI results. Its innovative business unit DEI councils help to design and cascade an organization-wide DEI agenda to all employees, creating customized plans tailored to the unique needs of each business unit.

The initiative is getting results. From 2010 through 2021, women’s representation among senior vice presidents (SVP) and above increased from 18.4 percent to 42 percent (23.6 percentage points); among vice presidents (VPs) and assistant vice presidents (AVPs), it increased from 31.9 percent to 36.1 percent (4.2 percentage points). For women of color during that same time period, representation among those SVP and above increased from 0 percent to 12 percent (12 percentage points) and among VPs and AVPs it increased from 1.9 percent to 4 percent (2 percentage points).

UPMC: Care and Culture Starts and Ends with People: Executive Workforce Demographics

In 2016, John L. Galley, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, and Dr. James E. Taylor, Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent Management Officer, intentionally launched a two-pronged strategy of external recruitment and internal development that became the foundation of this initiative and was designed to ensure that UPMC’s executive workforce is reflective of the communities it serves.

Although UPMC’s US healthcare workforce is about 75 percent women, the company’s C-suite was about 62 percent men in 2016. This body of work has resulted in a 19 percent increase in women in executive roles and a 96 percent increase in people of color in executive roles.

Three years after the launch, the Pittsburgh Inequality Across Gender and Race report revealed significant inequities and barriers for Black residents, particularly Black women, in the communities UPMC serves. The company redoubled its efforts to advance women from marginalized races and ethnicities. UPMC set a goal to increase the executive workforce to align more closely with labor market data.

Since the start of the initiative, opportunities for women, including women of color, at UPMC have greatly expanded, most profoundly since 2020.

From 2016 to 2021, executive women’s overall representation increased from 38 percent to 45.5 percent (7.5 percentage points). Executive women of color’s representation increased 0.9 percent to 5.1 percent (4.1 percentage points). Women of color also saw increases in Band 1 (Executive VP through VP, 4 percentage points, 3.8 percent to 7.8 percent) and Band 2 (Unit Chief through Director, 3.1 percentage points, 6.7 percent to 9.8 percent).

“The Catalyst Award-winning initiatives from The Hartford and UPMC are testaments to what is possible when DEI is prioritized at every level,” said Lorraine Hariton, President & CEO, Catalyst. “With intentionality, commitment, and innovation, these initiatives are accelerating equity and serving as models for others to do the same.”

Kristin Peck, CEO, Zoetis, says “I am thrilled to team up with Kathy Warden on March 30 as we co-chair the 2023 Catalyst Awards Dinner and celebrate the most outstanding initiatives across companies that drive representation and inclusion for women. I’m proud of the progress Zoetis and other companies are making to raise women’s representation in the workplace and within our industries. When we intentionally and thoughtfully create an environment that allows women—and all our colleagues—to bring their best selves to work, everyone wins.”

Kathy Warden, CEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation, adds that “It is an honor to co-chair the 2023 Catalyst Awards Dinner with Kristin Peck. As a former Catalyst Award recipient, Northrop Grumman is proud to support Catalyst’s efforts to celebrate leaders building inclusive, dynamic, and productive work cultures that encourage employees of every background to grow and thrive. Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts foster teams who innovate and solve the world’s greatest challenges. I am excited to recognize the next generation of DEI thought leaders at this important event.”

Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla and Marshall Plan for Moms Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani are among this year’s keynote speakers.

Since 1987, the Catalyst Award has recognized 108 DEI initiatives at 96 organizations from around the world. Catalyst Award Winners lead a community of forward-thinking organizations that are developing new and innovative ways to advance talent and strengthen their organizations.

Join the 2023 Catalyst Awards conversation by following Catalyst on social media using #CatalystAwards and #AcceleratingEquity. 

Register now for the event on March 30.




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