WeQual Awards 2020 Announces New York Shortlist


Twenty-four women are to be honored as potential C-suite leaders

NEW YORK (March 26, 2020) –Twenty-four female executives of Fortune 500 companies have been identified as having the leadership traits for C-suite positions.

The WeQual Awards identifies already successful senior women who are one level below C-suite; aimed at tackling the slow progress in appointing women to executive roles.

Following the success of WeQual London last September, 25% of the winners have since been promoted to the executive committees of FTSE companies.

The finalists are from a wide range of sectors and companies including: Accenture, Albertsons, BAE Systems, CenturyLink, Cisco Systems, DuPont, Fannie Mae, Kellogg Company, Mastercard, McDonald's, P&G, PepsiCo, Philip Morris International, S&P Global, Alabama Power and Verizon.

The 24 finalists were assessed ​against six criterias – drive, leadership, integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability and knowledge of their business. ​All candidates were assessed blind with no name or company revealed in their application.

Eight executive judges held 30-minute interviews with the three finalists in their category before each choosing a category winner: Brand, Finance, Head of Division, Legal, People, Technology, Operations and Transformation & Strategy.

The eight winners will be announced on Wednesday, 23 September 2020 at the Metropolitan Club in New York.

“The glass-ceiling concept has been an issue for decades, and the drop-off is steepest just below the C-suite, so I launched WeQual to champion gender equality at the top.” said Katie Litchfield, founder and CEO of WeQual.

Among supporters of the awards are Ann Cairns, Executive Chair of Mastercard and Global Chair of the 30% Club, Viswas Raghavan, CEO-EMEA, of J.P. Morgan, and Deirdre Mahlan, President of Diageo North America, who are part of a roster of well-known C-suite executives who will now choose eight category winners.

Viswas Raghavan said: "​These awards are among the first to target women at this level across the Fortune 500. We believe building awareness of these talented people as well as connecting them to each other is an important step in improving the diversity of our industry.” ​This senior group of 24 executives will become members of the WeQual Club and join the existing 24 senior FTSE female executives.

John Amaechi OBE, CEO of APS, who developed the 10 assessment questions and completed the blind marking process, said: “As always, the candidates demonstrated an enormously impressive set of leadership skills and results, reflective of the finest leaders in industry.

Many of them showed an impressive ability to motivate and empower their teams to drive forward innovations that ultimately produced sector-altering results in the face of fierce resistance to change and sometimes to themselves as women” Amaechi added.

For further information, contact Katie Litchfield at katie@wequalawards.com.

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The 10 assessment questions were developed by John Amaechi OBE and his team at APS from a research-based meta-analysis of the factors and characteristics that mark leaders as different from non-leaders (Kirkpatrick and Locke, 1991).

The questions were designed to help the nominees 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.

About WeQual

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.

Allyson Stewart-Allen, chief executive of International Marketing Partners Ltd., is supporting WeQual USA. The internationally recognized Californian business guru was a judge for the WeQual Awards in London last September.

About APS

John Amaechi OBE is an organizational psychologist and the CEO of APS, an advisory firm that specializes in helping organizations transform into high-performing cultures. John is also a Non-Executive Director of the UK’s largest NHS trust and a Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and a Chartered Scientist.

Media Contact

Vu Chung
Prosek Partners

The 24 WeQual Finalists for New York 2020:

Brand Category

Marissa Solis, Senior Vice President - Core Brands, Media, Sports, and Partnerships, Pepsico - Frito Lay North America
Daniela Cachich, Chief Marketing Officer, Pepsico Foods Brazil, PepsiCo
Joan Colletta, Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing Strategy, McDonald's

Finance Category

Chantelle Breithaupt, Vice President Finance, Cisco Systems Inc.
Wendy Taccetta, Senior Vice President -Business Commercial Operations, Verizon
Elise Neel, Vice President -Incubation, Verizon

Head of Division Category

Denise Beachy, Vice President, Healthcare & Specialties, DuPont
Lisa Miller, President, Wholesale, Indirect, and Small & Medium Business, Centurylink
Joanne Scaife, CEO Swiss Precision Diagnostics, P&G

Legal, Governance and Risk Category

Alexia Borden, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Alabama Power Company a subsidiary of Southern Company
Christina Demetriades, General Counsel, Europe, Global Sales and Delivery, Accenture LLP
Holly Kulka, Global Chief Compliance & Risk Officer, S&P Ratings, S&P Global

Operations Category

Krista Bourne, Senior Vice President, Consumer Sales & Operations, Verizon
Sue Avinir, Chief Operating Officer, S&P Global Platts / S&P Global
Jewel Hunt, GVP e-commerce, Albertsons Companies

People Category

Priscilla Koranteng, Vice President, Talent & Chief Diversity Officer, Kellogg Company
Ruchi Jalla, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, BAE Systems, Inc.
Umran Beba, Senior Vice President, Chief Global Diversity & Engagement Officer, PepsiCo

Technology Category

Linda Tai, Senior Vice President & Chief Architect, Fannie Mae
Nicola Palmer, Senior Vice President - Technology & Product Development, Verizon
Laura Deaner, Chief Information Security Officer, S&P Global

Transformation & Strategy Category

Dr Moira Gilchrist, Vice President, Strategic & Scientific Communications, Philip Morris International Aparna Khurjekar, Senior Vice President - Customer Experience & Transformation, Verizon
Sarah Gretczko, Chief Learning & Insights Officer, Mastercard

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