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Caleres Honored by the Women’s Forum of New York for Active Leadership to Attain Gender Parity on its Corporate Board

Caleres recognized for notable achievement with 60 percent female board representation

Today, Caleres (NYSE: CAL) and Diane Sullivan were honored by the Women’s Forum of New York at its annual Breakfast of Corporate Champions for achieving gender parity on its board. Caleres, which has a representation of 60 percent women on its board, was applauded as a corporate game changer that is making special efforts to advance women in the boardroom. Caleres was one of only 44 companies recognized out of the 240+ companies in attendance to have achieved or exceeded gender parity on its board.

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Caleres honored by the Women’s Forum of New York for Active Leadership to Attain Gender Parity on its Corporate Board (Graphic: Business Wire)

Caleres honored by the Women’s Forum of New York for Active Leadership to Attain Gender Parity on its Corporate Board (Graphic: Business Wire)

“This accomplishment took a concentrated effort beginning more than five years ago,” said Sullivan. “While this award symbolizes that important work, it is not the reason for our action. We are a stronger, more strategic company because our board has the capabilities, skills, and experiences we need, while at the same time reflects the consumers we serve. As a female CEO it was top of mind however, providing opportunities for gender parity is the responsibility of everyone. The challenge is in making sure there is a pipeline for these leaders and those to follow. It is okay to be the first, just not the last.”

Caleres currently has six women on its board of 10. The company added two additional female members to its board in 2017 to reach 55 percent, which was up from 40 percent in 2016.

The women on the Caleres Board of Directors include:

  • Lisa Flavin, senior vice president and chief compliance officer, Emerson
  • Brenda Freeman, Founder of Joyeux Advisory Group
  • Lori Greeley, chief executive officer at Serena and Lily
  • Carla Hendra, global CEO of Growth and Innovation, Ogilvy
  • Wenda Harris Millard, vice chairman at MediaLink
  • Diane Sullivan, Chairman and CEO of Caleres

For 2021, the Women’s Forum saluted 243 companies, from the S&P 500 and FORTUNE 1000, that have achieved 35 percent or more female representation on their corporate boards. All Corporate Champion honored companies, from 2011 to 2021, have exceeded the national average of board seats held by women (source: BoardEx, June 2021). The Women’s Forum recognizes the critical role of Caleres’ leadership in accelerating change to help make gender equity a business priority, and for driving intent to action.

We salute Caleres for their impressive success to achieve greater gender balance in their corporate boardroom,” said BCC Founder and Chair, Janice Reals Ellig, CEO, The Ellig Group. “As part of the Women’s Forum of New York’s ongoing `Corporate Board Initiative,' we’re proud to honor Caleres as an important member of the 2021 class of Corporate Champions who are determined to lead the way.”

The Women’s Forum “Corporate Board Initiative” reflects the organization’s belief that change happens more quickly when it’s driven from the top. The initiative focuses on company leadership, including CEOs, Directors, and Nominating and Governing Chairs, working to advance the appointment of women with the overarching goal to achieve gender parity on corporate boards.

The Breakfast of Corporate Champion’s Honorary Co-Chairs were Kenneth C. Frazier, Executive Chairman of the Board, Merck & Co., Inc. and Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO, Grand Reserve Inn. The President of the Women’s Forum is Joan Haffenreffer, Chief Administrative Officer and Managing Director, Citi Global Public Affairs.

For more information about Caleres please visit To learn more about the Women's Forum of New York, and the organization’s Corporate Board Initiative, please visit


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