Rockwell to accelerate inclusion of women in top roles

Milwaukee firm part of new Catalyst pledge

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation's Milwaukee headquarters.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc. is joining a push with 40 other companies aimed at driving greater gender equality in the workplace.

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation’s Milwaukee headquarters.

Chief executive officer Blake Moret committed the company to being a member of the Catalyst CEO Champions for Change Initiative. The pledge commits the company to accelerating the representation of women in executive and senior level positions and on the company’s board over the next five years.

Rockwell currently has two women on its board. Betty Alewine, former Comstat Corp. president and CEO, has been on the board since 2000 and Lisa Payne, Soave Enterprises chairman and Soave Real Estate Group president, has been a director since 2015.

The company also has two women on its executive leadership team. Rebecca House, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, joined the company in January. Susan Schmitt, senior vice president for human resources, joined the company in 2007.

“Change must start at the top, where leaders commit to measurable results and hold our teams accountable,” Moret said. “Through this program, Rockwell Automation and the other founding companies will drive a culture shift that advances gender equality in the workplace, where all employees can and want to do their best work every day.”

Rockwell was also recognized as the 2017 Catalyst award winner for its organizational approaches to address the recruitment, development and advancement of women in the company.

The company is also pledging to develop an annual review of internal diagnostics to strengthen the pipeline of women in the company; benchmark and track inclusion; and share representation metrics with Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit focused on workplace inclusion, for benchmarking and tracking the progress of all the firms included in the pledge.

Other companies included in the initiative include UPS, Kellogg Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Target Corp., BMO US, McDonald’s Corp., Walmart Stores Inc., Sealed Air Corp., Nationwide, Pfizer Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, KPMG International and ABB Ltd.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.