Top 50 companies for women executives

As mentioned in previous articles, we believe companies that hire women are more apt to be socially responsible.

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.

  • For example, Pepsico appears on the Top 50 cos for women execs as well as several lists cited above.

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:

  •  Nearly a quarter of the Board of Directors of the Top 50 are female.  This compares with 15% at Fortune 500 companies, in aggregate.
  • 14% of the Top 50 Cos have women CEOs.  This compares to 3% of the Fortune 500 Companies.  However, we’re still just talking about 7 women (14% of 50).  However, there is hope…
  • Almost 1/3 (about 30%) of the Corporate Executives at the Top 50 cos are female.  This is almost double the percentage (15%) at Fortune 500 cos.  So, there is a growing “bench strength” of potential candidates to the CEO position.

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:

  1. 82% require managers receive training on how to hire and advance women.  About 78% hold managers accountable for meeting women’s advancement goals.
  2. These percentages are far higher for the best rated (Top 10) of the 50 companies. (See bottom of page for Top 10). Link to NAFE’s Top 10 profiles

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.

  • This is, frankly, a sad finding considering the significant improvements publicly-traded companies have made in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, and the associated popularity of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI).
  • On the positive side, as SRI becomes mainstream, these differences are likely to lessen.

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.


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.

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.

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