On the eve of International Women’s Day, Catalyst used buildings as beacons to send a powerful message to the world: we need workplaces that work for women. As part of the Catalyst Skyline Takeover campaign, dozens of the most iconic and influential city structures across the global skyline—including buildings in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Peru, and Colombia—projected a red female symbol (♀) or illuminating it in their building windows to showcase a collective dedication to advancing women in the corporate world. This powerful visualization of the international business community’s commitment to greater diversity, inclusion, and gender equality began at sundown on the 7th and remained in place throughout March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Thirty-four companies will light more than 30 buildings across 10 cities in five countries. Participants include 84.51°; BMO; Cadillac Fairview; Catalyst; CIBC (with Blackwood Partners; Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; Groupe Petra; QuadReal Property Group; Stikeman Elliott LLP and Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.); Colpatria Multibanca del Grupo Scotiabank; Columbia Plaza; Deloitte Canada; EY; Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan; KPMG; The Kroger Co.; Manulife and John Hancock; Menkes Development Ltd.; Morgan Stanley; Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; Oxford Properties; P&G; RBC; Scotiabank; Silverstein Properties Inc.; Sun Life Financial; TD and TELUS.
“Last year, we had State Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ standing up to business on behalf of women and girls. This year, we have businesses rallying together to stand up for gender equality,” says Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst. “These companies are driving positive change in their workplaces and literally shining a spotlight on the need for all of us to do more, because they recognize that progress for women is progress for everyone.”
The Catalyst Skyline Takeover campaign calls on women and men around the world to join together to build diverse and inclusive workplaces. In addition to the companies that are lighting up their buildings, hundreds of others are expected to light up their social media channels in solidarity. Advocates can engage in the global conversation by sharing photos and using the hashtags #SignOfProgress, #CatalystForChange, #WorkplacesForWomen and #IWD2018.
Even though women make up 47% of workforces in the United States and Canada, workplaces don’t always work for women. Women, especially women from racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds, remain painfully underrepresented in business. Men still lead more than 95% of the most powerful companies around the world.
“Leaders must create safe and equitable workplaces that work for women—almost half their workforce. When women succeed, families succeed, businesses succeed, and entire communities succeed. Creating workplaces that work for women is a business imperative,” says Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada.
The campaign aims to spark a global conversation and inspire businesses around the world to accelerate change at a time when it is urgently needed. Catalyst is advocating companies to press for progress by taking 10 immediate actions to help build workplaces that work for women.
Catalyst is a global nonprofit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst drives change with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership—because progress for women is progress for everyone.