Kimberly-Clark initiative wins 2014 Catalyst Award

Small Catalyst

Left to right: Catalyst Ambassador for Australia Rowan Arndt, Anastasia Barlas, Elaine Pretorius, Allison Salmon, CEO of Catalyst Deborah Gillis, Senior Director of Catalyst Mary Boughton and Robbert Rietbroek.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation is one of two companies recently awarded the prestigious 2014 Catalyst Award, which annually honours innovative initiatives that expand leadership and opportunities for women and business. Catalyst is a global not-for-profit organisation and a trusted resource for research, information and advice about women at work.

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.

The winning initiative, ‘Unleash Your Power: Strengthening the Business With Women Leaders’, is about building a diverse and inclusive organisation that looks, thinks and behaves like the consumers who use and purchase Kimberly-Clark's essential products in their daily lives. "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."

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.
  • Internal promotions of women to ‘director-plus’ jobs have increased significantly, from 19 percent to 44 percent.

Female talent in Australia

We are pleased to say that after three new female appointments, for the first time in history, we have more women than men on the on the Kimberly-Clark Australia & New Zealand (KCANZ) Executive Leadership Team, two of which are holding flexible working arrangements and one assuming a newly created role. In 2013, 66% of all new hires were also women while 48% of promotions were filled with females. With 70% of the total employees KCANZ being male, this is a great achievement.

To celebrate the launch of Catalyst in Australia, members of the Catalyst team visited our Milsons Point head office, including CEO Deborah Gillis, Senior Director Mary Boughton and Ambassador for Australia Rowan Arndt. The Catalyst team learnt about the importance we place on developing and attracting female talent and the steps we are taking to advance and transform women in the workplace.

These are excellent achievements and we are looking forward to continuing on this trajectory for years to come!