Catalyst Receives $1 Million Grant From Altria Group to Expand Highly Successful Catalyst Women On Board Program

Newest US Class Members Announced; Global CEOs/Board Chairs Join Forces to Sponsor Board-Ready Women in Corporate America

New York, NY—Catalyst received a $1 million grant from Altria Group to expand Catalyst Women On Board™, a sponsorship program that matches exceptional candidates with leading CEOs and board chairs to help advance more women onto corporate boards.

“Boards impact almost every aspect of our lives, and for far too long, representation by highly qualified women, especially women of color, has been lacking on the boards of the world’s most influential organizations,” said Lorraine Hariton, President and CEO, Catalyst. “Catalyst Women On Board™ is helping to turn the tide by making powerful connections, bringing together women, sponsors, and companies to create opportunities and increase diversity in the boardroom.”

Catalyst Women On Board™ helps address the fact that boards do not reflect the diversity of the population: women hold 22.5% of all Fortune 500 board seats and women of color hold only 4.6%. Sponsorship accelerates change, and Catalyst’s exclusive cohort of sponsors help spark change by opening their networks to women candidates, in particular to women of color who are uniquely underrepresented in corporate boardrooms.

“Thoughtful development of a diverse and inclusive leadership team provides competitive advantage. That’s true for us at Altria. As leaders, we must be intentional about advocating and sponsoring women into senior leadership roles and onto boards,” said Howard Willard, Chairman and CEO, Altria Group and newly elected member of Catalyst’s Board of Directors. “I am pleased that with our grant, Catalyst will be able to expand this highly important work to advance representation of women in the boardroom.”

Since Catalyst’s acquisition of Women On Board™ Canada in 2013 and its subsequent launch in the United States in 2016, the program has led to more than 176 board appointments, with approximately 67% of alumnae appointed to seats on corporate boards.

The grant will be used to engage more CEOs and seasoned directors to serve as sponsors to board-ready women and for companies to endorse and support a greater number of senior executive women into the program with the goal of their first board appointment. The financial support from Altria and others, including the UPS Foundation, will also help Catalyst work with companies to address pipeline challenges with respect to women and, specifically, women of color.

In addition to the generous financial support from Altria, Catalyst also announced nine board-ready senior executive women have been selected as the third US class of Catalyst Women On Board™, including:

Board candidates:

Nancy A. Altobello, Former Global Vice Chair, Talent, EY

Kathie J. Andrade, Former CEO, Consumer Financial Services, TIAA

Christine S. Breves, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Support and Chief Supply Chain Officer, United States Steel Corporation

Cindy R. Kent, Former President and General Manager, Infection Prevention Division, 3M

Sue-Jean Lin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Alcon

Sandra MacQuillan, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Amy Shore, President, P&C Sales and Distribution, Nationwide

Eileen Simon, General Counsel, Global Businesses, Mastercard

Christina S. Sistrunk, President and CEO, Aera Energy


Edward H. Bastian, Chairman and CEO, Delta Airlines

Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP

Rodney O. Martin Jr., Chairman and CEO, Voya Financial

Stephen S. Rasmussen, CEO, Nationwide

Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente

Peter Voser, Chairman of the Board, ABB Ltd.

James D. White, Retired Chairman and CEO, Jamba, Inc.