New York, 8 February 2021 – Twenty-four female executives of some of the biggest companies in the Americas have been identified as having the leadership traits for top-level executive management positions. The WeQual Awards (wequal.com/awards) recognise outstanding women in senior roles. WeQual’s mission is to tackle the slow progress in appointing women to executive positions.
Since its creation, 35% of the winners of previous WeQual Awards in the UK, EMEA and the Americas have been promoted to the executive committees of major global companies.
“This is our second year of running the awards in the region and we continue to be impressed by the sheer quality of the women leaders that we are finding in the Americas,” says Katie Litchfield, founder and CEO of WeQual. “We have to keep our foot on the throttle with gender — and incorporate diversity — to make sure that all companies are looking at leaders from all backgrounds. Equality is really what WeQual is all about.
The Americas finalists are from a wide range of sectors and companies, including ABB Ltd, Analog Devices, AstraZeneca, BlackRock, Capital One, CGI, CIBC FirstCaribbean, Comcast, Diageo, FIS, HSBC, IBM, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Marriott International, Morgan Stanley, Prologis, ServiceNow, SiriusXM, TELUS, Kellogg Company, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
The 24 finalists in eight categories were assessed against specific criteria: Leadership, Cognitive Ability, Drive & Resilience, Integrity, Emotional Intelligence, Personal Development, Approach to Equality, and Knowledge of the Business. All candidates were assessed blind with no name or company revealed in their application.
Eight executive judges will hold 30-minute interviews with the three finalists in their category before choosing a winner. The categories are: Business Security, Business Transformation, Business Turnaround, Commercial Innovation, Finance, Leadership Excellence, Operational Performance, Technological Impact.
The winners will be announced in March 2021.
Among supporters of the awards are: Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard and Global Chair of the gender equality campaign group ‘30% Club’; Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Barclays; Dame Inga Beale of Mediclinic; and Ron Kalifa OBE of Network International.
Ann Cairns says: “WeQual promotes the equality of women in the business world by recognising outstanding professional achievements and impact. While many consider that this should be a normal thing, in reality we need sound initiatives like WeQual to act like catalysts in creating a more fair and equal society.”
This senior group of 24 executives will become members of the WeQual Club and join the existing 96 senior FTSE and Fortune 500 female executives.
The eight assessment questions were developed from a research-based meta-analysis of the factors and characteristics that mark leaders as different from non-leaders (Kirkpatrick and Locke, 1991). They were designed to help the women best describe how they deliver on leadership characteristics and how they are seen by others as a leader, and indeed engage people who see them as fit to lead.
WeQual’s mission is to make businesses more inclusive by identifying exceptional women executives and address the gender imbalance across the world’s Executive Committees. Katie Litchfield, Founder and CEO of WeQual Awards, devised the new platform which calls for women senior executives to build their case as to why they are deserving to be appointed to the Executive Committee.