December 17, 2000

American Express Company, General Mills, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. have won the 2001 Catalyst Award for their comprehensive initiatives to advance women through their corporate ranks. Each initiative, diverse in its focus, has proven successful, effective, and measurable. By carefully targeting women and/or people of color, and developing policies designed to increase their representation in executive positions, these corporate leaders have made impressive gains: while the percent of women corporate officers in the nation's largest companies stands at 12.5 percent (according to the 2000 Catalyst Census), the percent of women officers at the award winning companies are substantially higher: 17.6% (American Express); 18.2% (General Mills); and 19.2% (J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.). Furthermore, the impact of the award winning initiatives is seen in the increases of managerial women at the companies: the number of senior women at American Express has increased from 19 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2000; at General Mills, women managers have increased from 14 percent in 1996 to 18 percent in 2000; and at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 22 percent of senior managers are women, up from 17 percent in 1996.

American Express's initiative, Building a Winning Culture: Accountability Counts centers on the development of company leaders, the cornerstone of which is strong management accountability. General Mills' Women in Leadership: The Power to Build the Future empowers employees to drive change, in part, by creating open dialogue between senior leaders and company employees. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s initiative, Using Diversity to Forge a New Culture: The Chase Merger Experience, underscores the viability of sustaining diversity policies throughout the merger and acquisition process.

Carleton S. Fiorina, Chairman, President, and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will chair the Catalyst Awards Dinner. Maria Bartiromo, CNBC Anchor, will present the awards to the CEOs of the three companies during the annual awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on April 2, 2001.

"These organizations serve as role models for other companies striving to leverage the talents of their entire workforce," says Catalyst President Sheila Wellington. "By systematically implementing such initiatives, American Express, General Mills, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. are setting new standards for business practice in the 21st century."

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