The Best Companies For Women Who Want To Get Promoted Quickly

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Women make up half of the workforce, yet they’re still hugely underrepresented on corporate boards. “There must be cohesiveness on the board to get the work moving forward,” Carol Evans, CEO of the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), told us. “Women add their own perspectives, experience and knowledge to the board, which cannot be found any other way than by having gender diversity.”

And having women on boards just makes good business sense. Research shows that companies perform better when they have more female executives.

To identify which companies most support women in leadership roles, NAFE asked for nominations from the public, which required applicants to answer more than 200 questions about female representation at their companies.

Of the 200 applications submitted, NAFE narrowed the list down to the top 50, which is featured in this month’s issue of Working Mother.

Thanks to NAFE for also sharing the list with Business Insider.

23. IBM

Headquartered in Armonk, N.Y., IBM has a global workforce of 441,912 employees and 30 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 23 per cent.

'Women comprise 18 per cent of the general managers at this technology company, and many take part in a forward-thinking initiative that provides them with strategic assignments, helping them cultivate clients, strengthen their profit-and-loss capabilities and lead more effectively.'

Source: NAFE

22. HSBC USA

Headquartered in New York, N.Y., HSBC USA has a workforce of 24,400 employees and 59 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 17 per cent

'At HSBC USA, executives' compensation is impacted by their ability to meet diversity and inclusion goals, which helps increase female representation at the highest levels. Leadership program, female executives are able to take advantage of mentoring, training and workshops, learning to overcome professional obstacles.'

Source: NAFE

21. General Mills

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., General Mills has a workforce of 16,939 employees and 40 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 38 per cent

'90-six per cent of female employees surveyed at General Mills said they would recommend the company as a good place to work.'

Source: NAFE

20. Freddie Mac

Headquartered in McLean, Va., Freddie Mac has a workforce of 4,938 employees and 49 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 18 per cent

'In 2012, women earned nearly 50 per cent of all promotions at Freddie Mac -- and more than one-third of those were at the manager level and above.'

Source: NAFE

19. Fleishman-Hillard

Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Fleishman-Hillard has a workforce of 1,300 employees and 66 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 47 per cent

'In 1990, Lynne Anne Davis started at Fleishman-Hillard as an assistant account executive. Today, she is the president of its Asia Pacific operations. Women are raising their profiles within the firm, where they managed 57% of U.S. offices and served as half of all regional presidents worldwide in 2011.'

Source: NAFE

18. First Horizon National

Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., First Horizon National has a workforce of 4,803 employees and 63 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 17 per cent

'Whether they're looking to advance, get advice or just hang out with their peers, prospective and current female leaders at this financial services company enjoy the events of its women's affinity network, which include career workshops, an educational series and roundtable discussions.'

Source: NAFE

17. Eli Lilly and Company

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Eli Lilly and Company has a workforce of 17,849 employees and 48 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 21 per cent

Everything's in place for women to do well at this pharmaceutical company, from a robust succession program with high-level mentoring and leadership training to senior management's annual performance objectives, which require them to actively facilitate the development of female talent.'

Source: NAFE

16. DuPont

Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., DuPont has a workforce of 24,969 employees and 26 per cent of them are women

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 11 per cent

'In line with their overall representation at the company, women comprise more than 20 per cent of the participants in internal management and leadership training programs, which include two important ones for new managers -- the People Leadership Development Series (which provides them with the basic foundation they need to thrive) and Business 4 Results (which prepares them to drive growth and profitability).'

Source: NAFE

15. Diageo

Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Diageo has a workforce of 3,345 employees and 41 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 19 per cent

'Indisputably a powerful presence at this alcoholic beverage company, women represent 27 per cent of those at the vice-president level and above -- and management hopes to see their representation in the executive ranks rise to 35 per cent by fiscal year 2015.'

Source: NAFE

14. Dell

Headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, Dell has a workforce of 39,645 employees and 33 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 20 per cent

'In 2011, more than 13,000 women engaged in Dell's networking events, formal mentoring programs and leadership training.'

Source: NAFE

13. Colgate-Palmolive

Headquartered in New Yok, N.Y., Colgate-Palmolive has a workforce of 5,137 employees and 40 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 29 per cent

'Women at this consumer products company have many opportunities to enhance their skills, which some do by trying their hands at challenging short- or long-term assignments, working in a different U.S. or international location or joining task forces and project teams that require them to update their specialised knowledge.'

Source: NAFE

12. Cisco System

Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Cisco System has a workforce of 34,864 employees and 25 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 18 per cent

'70-five per cent of the senior vice presidents on the leadership team of Cisco's Finance group are women.'

Source: NAFE

11. Cardinal Health

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health has a workforce of 22,651 employees and 44 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 22 per cent

'There's a bright future ahead for women at this health care system, where they represent 40 per cent of the executives who are responsible for more than $1 billion in annual revenues. Women serve as presidents in every business segment at Cardinal Health.'

Source: NAFE

10. Bristol-Myers Squibb

Headquartered in New York, N.Y., Bristol-Myers Squibb has a workforce of 13,232 employees and 50 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 31 per cent

'In 2011, 39 per cent of the employees who participated in formal executive succession planning at Bristol-Myers Squibb were women. Boosting the number of women in its upper ranks is clearly important to this biopharmaceutical company: An impressive 40 per cent of its corporate executive hires and 39 per cent of its senior manager hires last year were female.'

Source: NAFE

9. BDO USA

Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., BDO USA has a workforce of 2,608 employees and 48 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 13 per cent

'From speed networking sessions to wine tastings and poker tournaments, the ConnectIn events hosted by the Women's Initiative at this accounting and consulting firm have long given participants the chance to get to know colleagues. In 2012, their gatherings expanded to include mentoring, sponsorship and career development activities.'

Source: NAFE

8. Bank of America

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Bank of America has a workforce of 241,682 employees and 60 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 27 per cent

'Formal mentoring initiatives offered by more than a dozen affinity groups and lines of business provide counsel to employees of this massive bank, where women are 36 per cent of the senior management team and 47 per cent of U.S. managers and officials.'

Source: NAFE

7. AT&T Wireless

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, AT&T Wireless has a workforce of 249,687 employees and 39 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 21 per cent

'At present, women are 49 per cent of the managers and senior managers in its Accelerated Development Program, which strengthens their odds of entering the executive pipeline. They also take part in the Executive Advocate Program, which pairs top female talent at the senior manager level with senior officers who help them amp up their responsibilities at the company.'

Source: NAFE

6. AstraZeneca

Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., AstraZeneca has a workforce of 9,249 employees and 55 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 29 per cent

'Formal mentoring programs (live and virtual) support women with the potential to move into leadership roles.'

Source: NAFE

5. Aon

Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., Aon has a workforce of 21,806 employees and 59 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 23 per cent

'The firm is striving to meet its goal of having women comprise 30 per cent to 50 per cent of the participants in its four formal career development programs; to keep progress steady, President and CEO Greg Case meets constantly with senior female leaders about possible advancement initiatives.'

Source: NAFE

4. American Express

Headquartered in New York, N.Y., American Express has a workforce of 27,155 employees and 63 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 32 per cent

'Supporting the career growth of 17,100 female employees is no trivial matter, which is why the U.S. arm of this financial services company maintains a multifaceted initiative called Women in the Pipeline and at the Top. It's designed to groom high-potential female talent to move into executive roles, and its mission has been factored into all internal leadership, sponsorship, coaching and customised development programs.'

Source: NAFE

3. Allstate Insurance

Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., Allstate Insurance has a workforce of 32,330 employees and 58 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 31 per cent

'Working here can enrich employees on multiple levels, and women recently earned 35 per cent of the company's highest salaries while also comprising more than 40 per cent of those receiving tuition aid (worth $5,250 annually for undergraduate or graduate courses).'

Source: NAFE

2. Aetna

Headquartered in Hartford, Conn., Aetna has a workforce of 34,674 employees and 76 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 26 per cent

'A group of female executives recently launched the Women's Leadership Alliance, an initiative with work groups that study the impact of mentoring, sponsorship and metrics and identify ways to apply them internally.'

Source: NAFE

1. Abbott

Headquartered in Abbott Park, Ill., Abbott has a workforce of 32,683 employees and 49 per cent of them are women.

per cent of corporate executives who are women: 23 per cent

'In 2011, there were 77 per cent more women in executive management roles at Abbott than there were in 2001. Female role models abound at this health care company, where women represent 42 per cent of the executives in profit-and-loss positions and comprise one third of the board of directors.'

Source: NAFE

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