Charles Schwab of San Francisco is a winner of the 2000 Catalyst Award, an award recognizing companies with innovative strategies for advancing women within their organizations. Catalyst of New York, a nonprofit research and advisory services organization, announced the honor earlier this month.

Schwab was recognized because its corporate culture fosters an open, inclusive environment that encourages all employees to reach their potential, said Debbie Zarlin, a spokesperson for Catalyst.

Thirty-six percent of Schwab's corporate officers are women, two out of five vice-chairman are women and 77 percent of Schwab employees report to a woman, Zarlin said.

Some of the policies that qualified Schwab for the award are a two-day new employee orientation that stresses Schwab's values and senior management's open-door policy to all employees. The company was also recognized for its inclusion of employee surveys in management reviews and in the development of company policy.

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