Women’s Advancement Falters: Do Corporations Care?
The National Association for Female Executives Honors the 2008 Top Companies Dedicated to the Advancement of Women.
New York, NY (March 18, 2008) – Women are making history not only in the political arena in 2008 with Senator Hillary Clinton as the first woman to win presidential primaries, but also in the private sector, with women advancing into the highest ranks of major U.S. corporations, according to the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), which today released the NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women that champion women in the workplace.
This past year, several women from the NAFE Top Companies moved into powerful positions:
- Procter & Gamble promoted Susan Arnold to president, Global Business Units, and Gina Drosos to president, Global Beauty.
- IBM’s Ginny Rometty, SVP of Global Services, executed Big Blue’s successful expansion into India.
- Wal-Mart’s Linda Dillman, EVP of Risk Management and Benefits, is leading the way with healthcare and benefits initiatives.
But according to Betty Spence, NAFE president, “Such terrific individual successes can mask a disturbing backslide for America’s corporate women in general. Most people now mistakenly believe the barriers are gone and women’s advancement is a slam-dunk.” Spence points to recent surveys by Catalyst “that found no increase in women on Fortune 500 boards in three years and also a startling decrease in women running businesses—those in the profit-and-loss positions that lead to the CEO’s office. Women hold only 8.9 percent of these jobs, down from the already tiny 10.6 percent in 2005,” Spence adds.
“When women are projected to control $21 trillion of America’s wealth in 2010,” says Spence, “it doesn’t make business sense that large corporations still have fewer than 15 percent women on their boards and fewer than nine percent running businesses. How can companies understand their markets when they exclude women from decisions?”
NAFE’s mission is to encourage women’s advancement by honoring companies that demonstrate strong numbers of women in top positions and in the pipeline. Most outstanding is Liz Claiborne, where women are 65 percent of executives running major divisions. Notable progress has occurred at Procter & Gamble with a 54 percent increase in female presidents, general managers and vice presidents in three years; and at Macy’s, where 63 percent of direct reports to the CEO are women. Women are more than one-third of board members at four of the Top Companies: The New York Times Company, Principal Financial, Texas Instruments, and Xerox. For details on what the NAFE Top Companies are doing to ensure women succeed, see www.nafe.com.
The 2008 NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women are (in alphabetical order by category):
THE TOP 10
- ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Northbrook, IL
- AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY, New York, NY
- BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY, New York, NY
- COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY, New York, NY
- IBM CORPORATION, Armonk, NY
- LIZ CLAIBORNE INC., New York, NY
- THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY, New York, NY
- PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL GROUP, Des Moines, IA
- PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY, Cincinnati, OH
- PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL, Newark, NJ
THE TOP COMPANIES
- AETNA INC., Hartford, CT
- CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY, Camden, NJ
- GENERAL MILLS, Minneapolis, MN
- HSBC – NORTH AMERICA, Prospect Heights, IL
- KRAFT FOODS INC., Northfield, IL
- MACY’S INC., Cincinnati, OH
- MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC., Washington, DC
- METLIFE INC., Long Island City, NY
- OFFICE DEPOT, Delray Beach, FL
- PATAGONIA INC., Ventura, CA
- SALLIE MAE, Reston, VA
- STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Bloomington, IL
- TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC., Dallas, TX
- WAL-MART STORES INC., Bentonville, AR
- XEROX CORPORATION, Stamford, CT
THE TOP NONPROFITS
- BAPTIST HEALTH SOUTH FLORIDA, Coral Gables, FL
- BON SECOURS RICHMOND HEALTH SERVICE, Richmond, VA
- CORNELL UNIVERSITY, Ithaca, NY
- MIDMICHIGAN HEALTH, Midland, MI
- VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM, Richmond, VA
NAFE looked beyond corporate programs and policies purportedly dedicated to advancing women to results, examining the number of women in each company overall, in senior management, and on its board of directors. To be named to the NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women, companies with a minimum of two women on the board completed a comprehensive application that focused on the number of women in senior ranks (compared to men and to the company population), including questions about the programs and policies which support women's advancement.
The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), founded in 1972, is the largest women's professional and business owners’ association in the country. It publishes NAFE Magazine, a quarterly publication distributed to 60,000 members. NAFE inaugurated the Top Companies for Executive Women in 2002, picking up the work of Working Woman magazine. NAFE is part of Working Mother Media, which also operates Working Mother magazine and the annual 100 Best WorkLife Conference.
Contact: Jackie Cook, The Rosen Group, 212.255.8455, firstname.lastname@example.org