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3M Wins 2017 Catalyst Award

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

3M honored for global initiative to recruit, develop and advance women companywide

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 3M is being recognized with the prestigious 2017 Catalyst Award, which honors companies for their proven approach to expand opportunities for women and business. 3M’s “I’m in. Accelerating Women’s Leadership,” is a global initiative that focuses on the advancement of women, and is an important component of a diversity and inclusion strategy that positively impacts the company worldwide.

“Diversity is a competitive weapon for 3M as it spurs creativity and new ideas, while helping us better serve our customers around the world,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. “From appointing women to top leadership positions to our new expanded parental leave benefits, we are creating an even more diverse and inclusive culture where all our people can succeed. Equally important, we will build on our progress and do even more into the future, including doubling 3M’s pipeline of diverse leaders by 2025.”

While 3M’s initiative focuses on women in the management pipeline and across the company, it is part of a broader “I’m in.” organizational approach to engage and develop all 3M people worldwide. A few of the specific elements include:

  • A network of 84 women’s leadership chapters that align their activities with global priorities championed by the executive steering team.
  • Formal leadership development programs like 3M Leadership Way that emphasizes continuous learning.
  • Encouraging each individual to have a formal development plan that includes stretch projects and opportunities to take on different roles, training and coaching.
  • And 3M’s FlexAbility that supports a flexible workplace culture.

The “I’m in. Accelerating Women’s Leadership” initiative accelerated progress for women leaders in business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the past five years with the following global results:

  • The percentage of women at the director level increased from 18.2 percent to 23 percent.
  • The percentage of women at the vice president level and above grew from 16.7 percent to 24.2 percent.
  • The representation of women in technical and lab manager roles jumped from 19.1 percent to 23. 9 percent, and the percentage of women manufacturing facility managers grew from 11.4 percent to 17.4 percent.
  • Around the world, the percentage of women leading 3M subsidiaries increased nearly 10-fold from 2.4 percent to 22.7 percent.
  • Women's representation on the executive team - those reporting to the CEO - increased from 12.5 percent to 20.0 percent.

“Intentional change requires bold leadership, which these companies embody. This is how diversity, inclusion and gender parity come to life in the workplace. It’s incredible to see these award-winning initiatives changing minds, changing behaviors and creating more opportunities for women,” said Deborah Gillis, CEO of Catalyst. “Business leaders have the power and a greater responsibility than ever before to make room for all employees to succeed. 3M is to be commended for leading the change.”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Catalyst Award recognizes companies that have proven organizational approaches that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of all women. Catalyst Award-winning initiatives are evaluated in a rigorous, year-long process against criteria such as strategy and rationale, senior leadership activities, accountability and transparency, communication, employee engagement, innovation, and measureable results. Since 1987, Catalyst has recognized 85 initiatives at 79 organizations from around the world. For more information about the Catalyst Award, visit

More information about inclusion at 3M can be found at

About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 supporting organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.

Source: 3M

3M Media Contact:

Fanna Haile-Selassie, 651-736-0876

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