Women Corporate Directors Select Debra Cafaro, Dompé farmaceutici, CDW Corporation, and Natura & Co. as 2022 Visionary Award Honorees

NEW YORK – September 6, 2022 – Last month, Women Corporate Directors (WCD) announced the selection of Debra Cafaro, Dompé farmaceutici, CDW Corporation, and Natura & Co. as the 2022 Visionary Award recipients to be honored at the 11th Annual Visionary Awards Celebration and Gala.


This year’s recipients will accept their awards in person on September 12th at the JW Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City, a part of WCD’s two-day Global Institute. The event, emceed by the Visionary Awards Celebration Chair, Christie Hefner, gathers attendees to witness the recognition of corporate excellence and a continued commitment to gender diversity in today’s boardrooms. This year's ceremony marks the first year with all women recipients.


“For the first time, WCD’s Visionary Awards are being presented to three companies with women serving as CEOs and all four awards will be accepted by women CEOs or directors,” said Deborah E. Kelly, Co-Chair of the Visionary Awards Selection Committee.


The first award will be presented to Natura & Co. for ESG Leadership. The ESG Leadership Award is chosen based on critical criteria, including ESG rankings within the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, a corporate commitment to sustainability, and having a predominately female-led leadership team. Natura & Co is home to four trail-blazing, socially conscious, iconic global beauty brands – Aesop, Avon, Natura and The Body Shop.


Accepting the award on Natura & Co.’s behalf is board member Carla Schmitzberger.


“Natura & Co. has a continued commitment to sustainability, and this has been an integral part of the way we do business since the 1960s," said Schmitzberger. "More recently, we launched Commitment to Life to address some of the world’s most urgent and pressing challenges, and we are honored to receive this award that recognizes our corporate commitment to ESG leadership.


The award for Leadership and Governance of a Public Company will be presented to CDW Corporation, accepted by CEO Christine Leahy. CDW Corporation is a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.


CDW Corporation, one of the few public tech companies led by a female CEO, was chosen due to its socially-conscious efforts, a 40 percent female-led executive leadership team, and its continued market outperformance. Leahy, who has served as CEO since 2019, knows the value and impact of diversity on business performance and community.


“At CDW, all of our relationships – with our coworkers, customers, partners, communities and in our boardroom – are grounded in humility,” said Leahy. “Humility to us is the absolute belief that no one, anywhere, ever accomplishes anything great on their own. “An important natural effect of humility is bias to bring more and diverse perspectives to the table – creating a multiplier effect in value for all of our stakeholders. The result is a kaleidoscope of infinite possibilities."


The third award for Leadership and Governance of a Private Company will be presented to Dompé farmaceutici, accepted by Co-CEO Nathalie Dompé. Headquartered in Milan, Dompé farmaceutici is a leading privately-owned bio-pharmaceutical company with 130 years of experience. Contributing factors to the selection of Dompé farmaceutici for this award are their continued commitment to medical and scientific advancement, their workforce held by 50 percent women and 42 percent in the C-suite.


Nathalie Dompé, who is leading the pharmaceutical company’s efforts, is in charge of the oversight, market development and strategic approval of new medications brought to the U.S. by Dompé. As the pharmaceutical industry is crucial in today’s world, Dompé still understands the importance of gender diversity in this setting.


“During each stage of Dompe’s 130-year journey, we sought to shape our growth to meet the needs of the times by advancing science to help patients while addressing emerging societal needs,” said Dompé.”



The final award will be presented to Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman and CEO of Ventas (VTR) for Strategic Leadership. Cafaro, who has served as CEO of Ventas since 1999, is recognized as one of the top 100 CEOs in the world. Ventas, an S&P 500 company, operates at the intersection of two powerful and dynamic industries – healthcare and real estate. Ventas’s portfolio of more than 1,200 properties serves the needs of a growing, aging population and partners with leading health systems, senior care providers and research institutions to provide sites where they can deliver care and discover treatments and cures.


Cafaro, accepting the award based on her individual accomplishments, was selected due to her outstanding contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as Ventas’s diverse Board of Directors.


“This award reflects Ventas’s longstanding commitment to rigorous corporate governance, as well as high standards of operational excellence and diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the company,” said Cafaro. “We believe these values work together to drive value creation for all our stakeholders. With 45% of Ventas’s outstanding Board of Directors diverse and over half of our leadership positions held by women, I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire Ventas organization. I also congratulate my fellow honorees for their significant contributions.”


This year’s honorees were carefully selected by the WCD’s Visionary Awards Selection Committee, comprised of the following WCD members:


  • Izumi Kobayashi of WCD’s Japan Chapter (Co-chair)

  • Deborah E. Kelly of WCD’s Greater Colorado Chapter (Co-chair)

  • Barbara Bowles of WCD’s Chicago Chapter

  • Noel Harwerth of WCD’s London Chapter

  • Anastassia Lauterbach of WCD’s Germany Chapter

  • Cristina Finocchi Mahne of WCD’s Italy Chapter

  • Iyabo Masha of WCD’s Nigeria Chapter

  • Lucy Pamboukdjian of WCD’s Brazil Chapter

  • Jennifer Sondergaard of WCD’s Quebec Chapter

  • Susan S. Stautberg of WCD’s Southern Florida Chapter

  • Joan Steel of WCD’s Chicago Chapter

  • Kimberly Till of WCD’s New York Chapter

  • Mary Beth Vitale of WCD’s Greater Colorado Chapter

  • Molly Zhang of WCD’s Greater Colorado Chapter


“WCD and the Visionary Awards Selection Committee have continued to reflect the global nature of the organization and the growing pool of companies leaning into leadership in all measures of performance, including ESG, as demonstrated by the increased diversity and global mix of nominees,” said Izumi Kobayashi Co-Chair of WCD’s Visionary Awards Selection Committee.


“Congratulations to our 2022 honorees, each of whom has demonstrated exceptional corporate governance and serve as remarkable examples of women in leadership. I am thrilled to recognize their work and showcase their successes as an inspiration to others,” said Jennifer Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer of WCD.


KPMG LLP is the Global Lead Sponsor of the Global Institute and Visionary Awards. To purchase tickets to the 2022 Visionary Awards Celebration and Gala, please click here.




Women Corporate Directors (WCD) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors. WCD has 2500 members serving on 8500 boards throughout the world. For more information, visit www.womencorporatedirectors.org or follow us on Twitter @WomenCorpDirs or LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/womencorporatedirectors