Coca-Cola has committed $2 million to Catalyst Inc., a U.S.-based nonprofit organization focused on accelerating the advancement of women globally.
"At The Coca-Cola Company, we believe the real driver of the 21st century will be women, who will play a pivotal role in shaping our global economy and our society," stated Ingrid Saunders Jones, Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation. "As we considered the global needs of women and the extraordinary work being done by Catalyst, we chose to support Catalyst in a way that would enable women worldwide to succeed."
The multiyear award will be used to create the Center for Corporate Practice Research, leveraging two decades of corporate inclusion initiatives to disseminate globally in support of gender parity.
Catalyst, founded in 1962, is the leading nonprofit membership organization for expanded opportunities for women and business. “In 2011, women held 7.5% of executive officer top earner positions at Fortune 500 companies and a miniscule 3.6% of those firms have women as CEOs. According to a study by Pax World, Calvert and Walden Asset Management, a paltry 9.4% of directors on global corporate boards are women.”
Coca-Cola Company has awarded more than $1.2 million to Catalyst in the past for sponsorships and operating support, as part of its 5 BY 20 commitment to enable economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across its global value chain by the year 2020. This year’s donation coincides with Catalyst's 50th anniversary celebration held this week.
“Closing the gender gap provides a basis for a prosperous and competitive society. Regardless of level of income, countries can choose to integrate gender equality and other social inclusion goals into their growth agenda – and have the potential to grow faster – or they can run the risk of undermining their competitive potential by not capitalizing fully on one-half of their human resources. The economic incentive for closing the gender gap in health, education, economic opportunity and political power is clear."