Roxanne Taylor
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January 16, 2003
Accenture Wins Prestigious Catalyst Award for Innovative Program To Help Women Advance in the Workplace

NEW YORK; Jan. 16, 2003 Accenture has won the 2003 Catalyst Award for its innovative program focusing on women’s career development and advancement.

Catalyst, a nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, cited the global nature of the program as one of the main reasons for selecting Accenture as a winner of the award, which is given annually to companies that implement new and creative initiatives to help women advance in the workplace.

Initially developed and implemented in the United States in 1994 before being expanded globally, the Accenture program, known as “Great Place to Work for Women,” is customized locally to offer information, networking opportunities, policies and programs specific to each of the countries in which the program has been implemented. The company uses a variety of innovative processes such as geographic scorecards, global surveys and performance appraisals to ensure that company leadership remains accountable for the initiative’s success.

Among the advances that women at Accenture have made since the inception of the initiative is an increase in the percentage of female "partners," or senior-level executives, from 5.8 percent of all partners in 1994 to 10.0 percent of all partners in 2002. In addition, in 2002 women comprised 14.1 percent of all promotions to partner globally and 19.0 percent of all promotions to partner in the United States.

“Empowerment without opportunity is useless,” said Joe Forehand, Accenture chairman and CEO. “At Accenture we’ve focused on fostering a more inclusive work environment. Our Great Place to Work for Women program is one way that we’re enabling women to take charge of their careers and move into broader leadership roles. Winning the 2003 Catalyst Award is a strong endorsement of the success of our program.”

“Catalyst believes Accenture’s program is an example of how companies can effectively address the challenges faced by women in a global marketplace,” said Catalyst President Sheila Wellington. “The scope of the initiative combined with the ease by which it can be replicated worldwide makes it a truly innovative effort.”

The Great Place to Work for Women program, sponsored by Mr. Forehand, is managed globally by Gill Rider, Accenture’s chief leadership officer and a member of the company’s Management Committee. This executive ownership provides additional credibility to the initiative and ensures that the program is aligned with business imperatives and managed appropriately in each of the countries in which it is implemented.

“At Accenture, local women leaders are responsible for implementing and customizing the global initiative for their locations,” Ms. Rider said. “In this way we have created a program that is global in nature while locally relevant to the cultural needs of each region in which we do business.”

About Catalyst
Catalyst is a nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business and the professions, with offices in New York, California and Toronto. The leading source of information on women in business for the past four decades, Catalyst has the knowledge and tools that help employers and women maximize their potential. Our solutions – oriented approach – through research, Advisory Services, Corporate Board Placement, and the Catalyst Award -- has earned the confidence of global business leaders. For additional information or to obtain a copy of this report, please visit our web site at www.catalystwomen.org or call 212-514-7600.

About Accenture
Accenture is the world’s leading management consulting and technology services company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them realize their visions and create tangible value. With deep industry expertise, broad global resources and proven experience in consulting and outsourcing, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, alliances and technologies. With more than 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.6 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2002. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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