TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Catalyst Canada celebrates its Catalyst Canada Honours Champions for 2014, five outstanding business leaders who have challenged the status quo and taken concrete action to advance and advocate for women in their organizations, their industries, and their communities. All are true examples of the Catalyst Canada Honours mission to create visible role models for Canada's current and future business leaders.
Among the five honourees is Unilever's Sharon MacLeod, Vice President, Personal Care North America, Unilever (Business Leader Champion). Within Unilever, Sharon was an early adopter of Unilever's global vision to empower women. As a Global Diversity Champion, Sharon has worked to ensure Unilever's talent pipeline is full of qualified women, to help leaders appreciate the unique contribution women bring to teams and to create more flexible career opportunities for women. In fact, during the time that Sharon was a leader in the Canadian business the percent of women in management grew from 43% at the start of 2013 to 50% now.
As Sharon recently said, "The value men bring to business has long been understood while the same can't be said for women. An appreciation for the unique perspective and approach of women, along with the true power that comes from men and women working together on teams, is what unleashes the growth of a business."
Not only has Sharon worked to encourage and promote women internally in the organization, but she has also propelled this vision in her work in brand marketing. Unilever's Dove brand learned that 60% of girls were dropping out of activities such as a swimming and soccer, important in developing positive self esteem and reaching their full potential in life. Under Sharon's leadership, Dove created the Dove Self Esteem Project, now reaching over 1 million Canadian girls with self esteem initiatives.
All the extraordinary leaders will be celebrated today, at a full-day conference and gala dinner at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
Additional Canada Canada Honours Champions for 2014 are
- Dean Johnson, Past President and CEO, Sodexo Canada Ltd. (Company/Firm Leader Champion)
- Ellen Moore, President and CEO, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada (Company/Firm Leader Champion)
- Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC (Human Resources/Diversity Leader Champion)
- The Hon. Howard I. Wetston, Q.C., Chair and CEO, Ontario Securities Commission, (Special Recognition – Board Diversity Champion )
"These outstanding individuals have had a powerful impact on the careers and opportunities of countless women across Canada," says Alex Johnston, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada. "As we celebrate five years of Catalyst Canada Honours, these extraordinary Champions join 16 others who are helping transform the workplace for women, and inspiring others to follow their lead. They are true leaders in Canadian business, sharing a conviction that inclusion is vital for business success and our economic future."
The five Catalyst Canada Honours Champions have leveraged their influence to help expand opportunities and leadership roles for women in business, and inspired others in corporate Canada to create sustainable change.
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In Canada, the Unilever portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe®, Becel®, Ben & Jerry's®, Breyers®, Clear®, Degree®, Dove® personal care products, Hellmann's®, Klondike®, Knorr®, Lipton®, Magnum®, Nexxus®, Popsicle®, Q-Tips®, Simple®, St. Ives®, TRESemmé®, and Vaseline®. All of the preceding brand names are owned or used under license by Unilever Canada Inc. In 2013, Unilever Canada employed approximately 1,500 individuals and generated annual sales of approximately $1 billion Cdn.
At Unilever, our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.
External recognition for Unilever Diversity Initiatives
In January 2013 Unilever was named as a winner of the 2013 Catalyst Award for our initiatives that expand opportunities for women and business. The Women Corporate Directors Visionary award was also awarded to our CEO, Paul Polman, for gender diversity. Unilever US was featured in 'Working Mother 100 Best Companies' for our commitment to progressive workplace programmes in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, Unilever scored 100% for the sixth consecutive year in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. Unilever was named LinkedIn's third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 700 member organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.
ABOUT THE CATALYST CANADA HONOURS
The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates champions of women in Canadian business. Recognizing that what's good for women is good for business, these exceptional individuals are personally and visibly committed to the advancement of women and serve as powerful role models for Canadian corporate leaders.
Champions are nominated and once applications are received, Catalyst Canada looks for clear indications of championship through leadership behaviours that have had a visible impact on the advancement of women both inside and outside their organization. The nomination process is supported by interviews with the nominees and references.
SOURCE: Unilever Canada Inc.
For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: For Unilever Canada: Katharine Williams, +1 647-632-4467, [email protected]; For Catalyst: Francine Beck, +1 416 725 3710, [email protected]