How about the Debt Ceiling with all your might?
How about the Debt Ceiling with all your might?
And the “proof of the pudding” is in actually comparing SRI lists.
Cross-checking a sample of names against the highest rated Socially Responsible Companies from lists such as Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For, Corporate Responsibility’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens, Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship reveals several common names.
The list, which is located at the bottom of this article is mostly geared towards up & coming corporate-types. This list is courtesy of NAFE (National Association For Female Executives). For those ladies seeking more broad information on women & work issues, I recommend contacting Working Mother Magazine/Media group.Link
How NAFE’s list was created:
In order to make it to NAFE’s Top 50 list, each organization had to complete a detailed application covering internal and external programs, etc, that benefited women. Women companies were selected from a pool of “self-selected applicant” companies and ranked on the data they provided in their application. Applications were collected by an independent survey research firm.
One Concern is that the data in the applications were not independently audited. However, we are not worried given the nature of the survey. In other words, applicants are kept honest by the potential Reputation Risk that would result should an intentional misrepresentation be given.
Attributes of the Top 50 Companies for Women Executives:
Further, women executives are likely to progress to high positions in the Top 50 given the potpourri of programs to help them break through the “glass ceiling.” Such programs include: career counseling, leadership training, support groups and other related programs.
Of course, if there’s no Management Accountability, the number of programs means nothing to actual success in the workplace. But, the Survey does represent proof that there is such accountability. Survey results indicate that among the Top 50 companies:
Where is improvement needed?
The NAFE also provided a list of Non-Profit Companies (See list on bottom of page) that were in its Top 50 list for women executives. For nearly every surveyed item (including the two highlighted above) the Non-Profits outranked the For-Profit Companies.
The Top 10
Abbott – Abbott Park, Ill.
Aetna – Hartford, Conn.
American Express Company – Suwanee, Ga.
Fleishman-Hillard – St. Louis, Mo.
General Mills – Minneapolis, Minn.
IBM – Austin, Texas
Johnson & Johnson – New Brunswick, N.J.
Marriott International – Bethesda, Md.
Office Depot – Delray Beach, Fla.
WellPoint – Indianapolis, Ind.
THE TOP COMPANIES
Allstate Insurance – Northbrook, Ill.
American Electric Power – Columbus, Ohio
AstraZeneca– Wilmington, Del.
AT&T – Dallas, Texas
Avon Products – New York, N.Y.
Bank of America – Charlotte, N.C.
Bristol-Myers Squibb – Plainsboro, N.J.
Chubb & Son – Warren, N.J.
Cisco – San Jose, Calif.
Colgate-Palmolive – New York, N.Y.
Diageo North America – Norwalk, Conn.
Dow Chemical – Midland, Mich.
DuPont – Wilmington, Del.
Eli Lilly and Company – Indianapolis, Ind.
Grant Thornton LLP – Chicago, Ill.
Hewitt Associates – Lincolnshire, Ill.
HSBC – North America – Prospect Heights, Ill.
Intel Corporation – Santa Clara, Calif.
JPMorgan Chase – New York, N.Y.
Kellogg Company – Battle Creek, Mich.
Kraft Foods Inc. – Northfield, Ill.
Macy’s, Inc. – New York, N.Y.
McKinsey & Company – New York, N.Y.
Merck & Co., Inc. – Whitehouse Station, N.J.
MetLife, Inc. – New York, N.Y.
New York Life Insurance Company – New York, N.Y.
Northern Trust Corporation – Chicago, Ill.
PepsiCo – Purchase, N.Y.
Pfizer Inc – New York, N.Y.
Principal Financial Group – Des Moines, Iowa
Prudential Financial – Newark, N.J.
State Farm – Bloomington, Ill.
Texas Instruments – Dallas, Texas
The McGraw-Hill Companies – New York, N.Y.
The New York Times Company – New York, N.Y.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. – Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Procter & Gamble Company – Cincinnati, Ohio
Verizon Communications Inc – New York, N.Y.
Walmart – Bentonville, Ark.
Xerox – Stamford, Conn.
2010 NAFE TOP NON-PROFIT COMPANIES
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina – Durham, N.C.
Bon Secours Richmond Health System – Richmond, Va.
March of Dimes Foundation – White Plains, N.Y.
MidMichigan Health – Midland, Mich.
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare – Chicago, Ill.
Pitt County Memorial Hospital – Greenville, N.C.
TriHealth, A Partnership of Bethesda and Good Samaritan – Cincinnati, Ohio
VCU Health System – Richmond, Va.
WellStar Health System – Marietta, Ga.
Yale-New Haven Hospital – New Haven, Conn.
Thanks to the efforts of Working Mother Magazine, we can now see both inside the minds of women executives as well as the corporations that hire and allow them to soaring maximum potential.
Working Mother Media publishes a list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers (see bottom of article for list).
Before answering those questions, I think it’s necessary to state just why such companies are important to Socially Responsible Investing. Accommodating all persons regardless of race, color, gender, etc. is not only the right thing to do, but it leads to performance increases versus companies that are closed to all but a select group of persons. Such companies tend to have cutting-edge Work-Life strategies for employees, as well as a high representation of women on their boards.
Evidence suggests that companies with a strong female representation at board and executive levels perform better than those without, and that gender-diverse boards have a positive impact on performance. (Source: Women Matter, McKinsey & Co, 2007). According to a recent British paper entitled Women on Boards (Feb. 2011) there is a strong business case for balanced boards – such boards are more likely to be effective, better able to understand their customers and stake holders, and to benefit from fresh perspectives, new ideas, and broad experience. This, leads to better decision making.
Studies have shown that companies with diverse boards among European companies, outperform on the equities markets. Also, and maybe to be expected, such companies have outperformed their rivals financially, with a 42% higher return on sales, 66% higher return on invested capital, and 53% higher return on equity. (Respective Sources: McKinsey & Co. 2007, Catalyst 2007.)
The above isn’t just for European companies. A Canadian study found that boards with more than average women members, were more likely to identify criteria for measuring strategy, follow conflict of interest guidelines, and adhere to a code of conduct. The above are characteristics of companies with good governance. Remember, the key criteria of Socially Responsible Companies are ESG (Environment, Social and Governance). Already, 2 out of 3 are satisfied when analyzing the best companies for women. (Source: The Conference Board of Canada, Ottawa).
Achieving more women in the workplace and increasing workplace flexibility can be achieved via enforcing (via regulation) more women on boards, or by Best Practices by the 100 Best Companies. Each country has it own way of achieving women in the workplace via higher board representation. For example, in the United States, the recent Dodd-Frank Act’s Diversity Offices will implement rules to ensure the fair inclusion and utilization of minorities and women in all firms that do business with government agencies. Other than the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the U.S. is pretty much “hands-off” in this area. On the other end, are countries that are forcing quotas on publicly-owned companies. As would be expected, these companies include Norway, Spain, Iceland, Finland – with France, Netherlands, and the European Union considering legislation of quotas. (Source: United Kingdom based panel paper entitled Women on Boards, 2/11).
The UK panel above wanted to know what could be done to achieve recruitment of women into the boardroom. It turns out that lack of flexibility around work/life balance was a big deterrent. This happens to be exactly what Working Mother Media has focused on in their various Best Companies studies. It is the aforementioned that Women Want!
According to survey conducted by Working Mother Media, “for 94% of the 100 Best Companies, Flexibility is more than an employee accommodation; it is an essential business strategy. Flexibility is part of:
The last point was the most popular answer given (86% of respondents) and once again returns our readers to the fact that women in the workplace is in fact part of a corporation’s, ESG. Hence, women are, in a sense, key to Socially Responsible Investing. This is why this website does not propose “Negative Screening” (for sin stocks) as SRI is more than just eliminating a few bad industry apples.
Flexibility has been something that’s easier said than today. Historically, the Best Companies for Working Mothers have focused on their unique needs by trying to address Childcare, Parental leave and Flextime. The key word here is “trying” as creating a successful company culture that allows for real flexibility take a lot of work!
Let me give you some examples, traditionally Child-care meant handing out a list of resources (you know people/places to call). Flexibility meant having different Start/Stop times. Career support basically started and ended in the beginning. Companies would have targeted hiring programs for women. But that was it.
Moving forward of 2 decades, one can see some big changes. Child-care doesn’t just mean giving you a sheet of referrals. Instead Onsite child care centers are offered to women (and men) employees. There have been big advancements in Flexibility thanks to the Internet. Now women can work from home on their computers and soon they’ll be able to be video-conferenced in. Some companies like IBM, actually have virtual buildings/offices where employees from all over the world can conduct meetings. Lastly, Career support now doesn’t end at the hiring process. Now women receive mentoring, network groups and training programs.
So you might be asking, how did the Best Companies get from Point A to Point B and improve themselves so drastically. Best Practices among the Best Companies include doing these things, according to the Working Mother Media survey:
Just to show you how important workplace flexibility is, recall last March, when the White House Council on Women and Girls hosted a forum just on this topic (flexibility) that was attended by several VIPs including Michelle and Barack Obama. Now, if that doesn’t send a message, then nothing can…
Below is the Directory/List of the Best Companies 2010 courtesy of Working Mother Magazine.
Source: List provided by Working Mother Magazine.
Ideally, we’re looking for “earthy, granola” organizations that are Big on ESG, especially within their community – the “S” in ESG. But, this community isn’t just the community of investors, or other stakeholders such as suppliers. It isn’t even just the local community where the company operates.
We believe, a company’s employee community is just as important. It is employees who help create a corporation’s unique personality/soul. When it works best, it builds a cohesive climate of mutual trust and respect where employees can feel comfortable to perform their best, not because they have to, but because they want to.
You know, there’s a saying that “Charity begins at Home” meaning before you can even attempt to change the world in a positive way, you’d better look inside yourself first. As a side-note, we’re using the word “Charity” to make a point. In reality, all we’re looking for is that each and every one of us feel like we’ve got a fair shot of what we deserve in the first place.
We are fond of Working Mother magazine, and have read several of its presentations and publications. They have many interesting online articles including several lists, you can access here.
The list below is of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women. The publication’s Working Mother Research Institute screened companies that provided great working environments for women of color, both in their support when they start at the company and throughout their career.
Companies were chosen based on detailed applications sent to the Institute, then an independent Research firm tabulated the scores. However, note that these companies were not elected or voted for by an advisory board/committee. For example, if a great company didn’t submit an application, it was not included in the list.
Note: Most of these companies are publicly-traded, and thus, potential SRI candidates. Individual company excerpts are written by Working Mother Institute.
Disclosure: the author is long American Express, Cisco Systems.