The Catalyst Awards Conference recognizes innovative organizational initiatives that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of all women.
Workplaces That Work for Women
To build inclusive workplaces—as a leader, manager, or individual—you need powerful tools, expert knowledge, and real-world examples from the field. You need solutions custom-fit to your role and the change you want to make. That’s why we’ve organized the 2018 Catalyst Awards Conference agenda into three specialized tracks:
You’ll learn from the 2018 Catalyst Award winners, Catalyst experts, and other companies leading change. And you’ll go back to work equipped to knock down roadblocks and rewire your corporate culture. Register now to make real change for women!
At the annual Catalyst Awards Conference and Dinner, we recognize innovative organizational initiatives that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of all women, including diverse women. Since 1987, Catalyst has recognized 85 initiatives at 79 organizations from around the world. These groundbreaking diversity and inclusion programs have changed workplaces, communities, and lives.
Catalyst is a global nonprofit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst helps organizations remove barriers and drive change with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership—because progress for women is progress for everyone.
President & CEO, Catalyst. Growing up in a tiny village in rural Nova Scotia, far from any center of power, Deborah Gillis was inspired by a group of women who successfully advocated for gender equality rights to be included in the Canadian constitution. As a result, her high school debate topic was, “Be it resolved that women earn the same as men.” And so began a career dedicated to giving everyone equal opportunity to succeed.Her early work in the public sector focused on social justice policy issues: employment equity, anti-racism, and LGBTQI rights. As a consultant and practice leader for two global professional services firms, she advised clients on strategies for aligning talent and business priorities, and championed initiatives to mentor women. Then as a candidate for elected office, Deborah first truly understood the power of role models to inspire girls and young women. That experience and surviving breast cancer motivated her to seek out more deeply meaningful work.Deborah found it at Catalyst, a global nonprofit that works with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Joining in 2006 as Executive Director of Catalyst Canada, she became Chief Operating Officer in 2012, and then President and CEO in 2014.She now puts her passion to work as a tireless advocate, opening doors for other women so that we can change the world—one fair, diverse, and inclusive workplace at a time. A recognized thought leader and global influencer, in 2016 Deborah was named as one of Canadian Business magazine’s 10 most influential Canadians, and that same year she received the Foreign Policy Association Medal. Most recently, in 2017, Deborah accepted an honorary Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Cape Breton University for dedicating her life’s work to advocating for women’s rights and equality. She serves on the Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier University
Chairman & CEO, Target Corporation. Brian Cornell is board chairman and CEO of Target Corp. He is responsible for Target’s global business, including the company’s more than 1,800 U.S. stores, digital properties and 323,000 team members.Cornell joined Target in August 2014 after more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at leading retail and global consumer product companies, including three CEO roles and more than two decades doing business in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His past experience includes time as both a vendor partner and a competitor to Target, and he brings insights from those roles to the company today.Cornell currently serves as chairman of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and he is a member of the board of directors for Yum! Brands. He previously served as a director for other global brands, including The Home Depot and Polaris Industries.Cornell is also a board member for Catalyst and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1981 and attended its Anderson School of Management.
Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley.Carla Harris is Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She was Chair of the Morgan Stanley Foundation from 2005 to 2014, and sits on the boards of several community organizations. In August 2013, Carla was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council. She is a gospel recording artist and a popular public speaker who gives impactful career guidance to corporate audiences based on her book, “Expect to Win.” Carla joined Morgan Stanley in 1987 after completing an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.Carla has been named to many prestigious lists including Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America” and “The Most Influential” list, U. S. Bankers Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), Black Enterprise’s Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business, to Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street”, and to Essence Magazine’s list of “The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World”.Carla’s passion lies in helping others. As she says, “we are blessed, so that we can be a blessing to others.” While climbing the corporate ladder, Carla had her own personal missteps amidst numerous victories. She vowed that when she reached senior management and people came to her for advice, she would provide them with the tools, strategies, and pearls of wisdom honed by her own experience.Carla is an accomplished singer who has delighted audiences around the world with her soulful renditions of new and old gospel favorites. Starting young with a love of singing, she quickly migrated towards choral music and gospel choirs at age 13.While at Harvard, Carla continued to pursue her music, singing with the world-renowned Radcliffe Chorale Society, the oldest women’s singing group at Harvard, and in her own band Rhythm Company. She has performed four sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall and released several albums.
President & Chief Executive Officer, The Boston Consulting Group. Rich Lesser has been president and CEO of The Boston Consulting Group since 2013; previously he served as Chairman of North and South America. Under his leadership, BCG has continued its strong global growth across all regions and practices, fueled by investments in new offices, digital and analytics, and capabilities to drive innovation and transformation. Rich oversaw the launch of BCG Digital Ventures, a global corporate investment and incubation firm; BCG Gamma, a cutting-edge advanced analytics and machine learning team; and BCG TURN, a turnaround, restructuring, and transformation unit.Rich has sustained BCG's commitment to diversity and inclusion through innovative organizational initiatives that address recruitment, development, and advancement of individuals, regardless of background, gender, or sexual orientation. In 2017, he was recognized by the Catalyst CEO Champions for Change initiative. Rich is a member of several leading organizations, such as the World Economic Forum's International Business Council and the US Business Roundtable. He has also maintained BCG’s strong investments in social impact through its many partnerships, including the World Food Programme, Save the Children, Teach For All, and WWF. Prior to joining BCG, Rich worked in product development at Procter & Gamble. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a BSE in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan.
HR VP and Chief Leadership, Learning & Inclusion Officer, IBM. Debora A. Bubb is an HR Vice President and Chief Leadership, Learning & Inclusion Officer at IBM, where she leads the organization responsible for corporate learning, executive leadership and management development, diversity and organizational development. Prior to joining IBM, Debora was a vice president and director of global leadership and learning at Intel Corporation. There she had overall responsibility for Intel’s corporate leadership and learning strategy and for developing and deploying solutions and systems to unleash the leader inside everyone at Intel, from employee to executive. Debora's background in human resources and leadership includes deep experience in strategic business partnership roles, organizational and leadership development as well as HR operations management. Before joining Intel, Debora was an HR manager at Electronic Data Systems, Hicks Consulting Group and Avocet Inc. She also spent four years as a practicing social worker and independent organizational consultant. Debora holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University and a master’s degree in social work from Smith College.
EVP, Chief HR and Administrative Officer, Nationwide. Gale King is Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Nationwide, a Fortune 68 company. She is responsible for Nationwide’s Human Resources, Corporate Real Estate, Corporate Security and Aviation operations. She is a member of Nationwide’s Executive Committee. Under her leadership, Nationwide has been recognized as an employer of choice for its strong culture, performance orientation and commitment to diversity and inclusion. The company has received numerous recognitions to include: Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For (4 years), Catalyst Award, 100 percent on Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (14 years), Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity, Black Enterprise Best Companies for Diversity (8 years), LATINA Style’s Top 50 Award and many others. Gale is active in the community and serves as a board trustee and Vice Chair for the University of Florida Foundation, Vice Chair for the National Urban League, board trustee for the Executive Leadership Council and Columbus Museum of Arts. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in public administration.