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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. here yesterday was named a recipient of the 2006 Catalyst Award, honoring strategic business initiatives that result in the recruitment, development, and advancement of women in the workplace.
Safeway was recognized for its Championing Change for Women: An Integrated Strategy, which features comprehensive career development and mentoring programs combined with rigorous tracking and accountability systems. The initiative has resulted in the substantial advancement of women -- including women of color -- to management positions.
According to Catalyst, the retailer seeks to promote management talent from within, drawing from all levels, including entry-level store employees, to fill its leadership ranks. Diversity Advisory Boards, which work with division and corporate leaders, support the initiative, providing strategic direction on issues of diversity and inclusion; observing progress on diversity goals; and playing a role in maintaining consistency across locations.
The initiative also features a mentoring program that requires all managers to mentor diverse talent; and the Retail Leadership Development program, which trains retail employees to be store managers, a path which can lead to corporate management.
Safeway tracks the success of its programs by ensuring that compensation and advancement criteria include employees' abilities to meet diversity goals. This emphasis on accountability ensures results: Since 2000, there has been a 40-percent increase in the representation of women in store management ranks, a 34 percent increase in the representation of white women and a 65 percent increase in the representation of women of color. The representation of women at the v.p. level rose from 12 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2005.