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Press release from CNW Group

WestJet signs Catalyst Accord

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WestJet signs Catalyst Accord16:05 EST Tuesday, December 11, 2012Airline re-commits to increase presence of women in leadership rolesCALGARY, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced that it has signed the Catalyst Accord, a call to action for Canadian corporations to increase the overall proportion of FP500 board seats held by women to 25 percent by 2017. Catalyst is the leading non-profit organization expanding opportunities for women and business."We're pleased to have signed the Catalyst Accord today," said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "As part of our ongoing diversity and inclusion vision, we strive to be an industry leader in our human resource practices. Signing this agreement re-commits and solidifies our commitment to a balance of qualified men and women working in, and leading, our organization."The Catalyst Accord calls for participating companies to pledge to the agreed objective, to increase the number of women board members, and to challenge the assumption that qualified women cannot be found.  To augment the representation of women on boards, companies will work with Catalyst and receive access to board-ready women representing a range of industries and skill sets, who are personally sponsored by individual members of the Catalyst Advisory Board."The Catalyst Accord shows a focused commitment on the part of corporate Canada to increasing women's representation on its boards and provides the tools to make change happen," said Alex Johnston, Executive Director of Catalyst Canada Inc. "By signing on to the Catalyst Accord, companies in corporate Canada address this challenge and demonstrate respect for diversity and smart business practices through their leadership on this issue."WestJet continues to hire employees, known as "WestJetters," into new roles as the airline expands its network through responsible and sustainable growth. Over the last three years, more than 1,490 new jobs were created. As the airline launches WestJet Encore, more than 1,800 new jobs are expected to be created as the regional airline reaches full maturity.About WestJetWestJet is Canada's most preferred airline, offering scheduled service to 81 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Powered by an award-winning culture of care, WestJet has pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Recognized nationally as a top employer, WestJet now has more than 9,000 WestJetters across Canada. Operating a fleet of 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft with future confirmed deliveries for an additional 35 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft through 2018 and plans to launch a low-cost regional airline in 2013, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.Connect with WestJet on Facebook at www.facebook.com/westjetFollow WestJet on Twitter at www.twitter.com/westjetSubscribe to WestJet on YouTube at www.youtube.com/westjetAbout Catalyst Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading non-profit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 500 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.Follow Catalyst Inc:Catalyzing:  http://www.catalyst.org/blog/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catalystincTwitter: https://twitter.com/CatalystIncLinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Catalyst-Inc-2710104?gid=2710104&trk=myg_ugrp_ovrSOURCE: WestJetFor further information: WestJet media contact: Media Relations, 1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397), media@westjet.com. Catalyst media contact:   Susan Nierenberg snierenberg@catalyst.org, 646-388-7744 Magda Jarota, Maverick PR, magdaj@maverickpr.com, 416-641-5525