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Alcoa recognized for diversity initiative

Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.


One Crossroads plant was recognized for its focus on gender diversity.

Alcoa received the 2013 Catalyst Award, which honors innovative approaches that address the recruitment, development and advancement of women in the workplace.

The company's initiative, "Building Opportunities for Women in a 'Hard Hat' Company," showcases Alcoa's work to bring more women into a male-dominated industry, according to an Alcoa news release.

Employees at Point Comfort Alcoa drive the plant's success, Human Resources Manager Helen Gadsden-Ross said in the release. The best way to bring in talent is to provide an inclusive work environment where people feel valued and can build their careers.

"We work hard to create that culture every day, and as a result, we hire and retain the best," she said.

Alcoa's women professionals are involved in on-campus visits and career fairs. Point Comfort Operations also offers summer internships, which can lead to full-time employment, to college students.

Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said the company is stronger and more competitive because of its efforts.

"This recognition from Catalyst further validates our efforts and motivates us to continue building an inclusive work environment," he said. "We want our businesses to benefit fully from the leadership and engagement of women, and we want to become a role model for other 'hard hat' companies."

Alcoa's actions have produced higher employee engagement scores, improved retention rates among women and advancement against benchmarks and indices in the mining and metals industry, Gena Lovett, the company's chief diversity officer, said in the press release.

This year's winning initiatives demonstrate that diversity strategies at multinational corporations can be implemented in a way that meets the needs of area and regional businesses, Ilene H. Lang, Catalyst's president and CEO, said in the release.

"And they are all championed by male CEOs who understand the strong business case for including women in top leadership and have made women's advancement a top organizationwide priority from day one," she said.

Initiatives from The Coca-Cola Co. and Unilever also received this year's Catalyst Award. Representatives with all three recognized companies will discuss their initiatives at the 2013 Catalyst Awards Conference at The Waldorf Astoria in New York.

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