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NEW sponsors are top companies for executive women

Saturday, February 09, 2013  
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Seven Network of Executive Women sponsors were recognized by the National Association for Female Executives as Top Companies for Executive Women. Noted for their efforts to advance women were American Express, Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble and Target Corporation.

The NAFE Top 50 Companies for Executive Women survey is completed by for-profit companies with at least 1,000 employees and two women on the board of directors. The survey tracks female representation at all levels, how many employees have access to programs and policies that promote the advancement of women, how many employees take advantage of those programs and policies, training of managers to help women advance and how those managers are held accountable for the advancement of female employees that they oversee.

At American Express, intriguing speakers and breakfasts with female executives motivate members of the company's Women's Interest Network. Supporting the career growth of 17,100 female employees, the U.S. arm of American Express maintains Women in the Pipeline and at the Top, a multifaceted initiative designed to groom high-potential female talent for new roles in the organization. Approximately one-third of the company's senior managers are women. Women make up 42 percent of its top 10 percent of earners.

Nine employee networks at Colgate-Palmolive provide employees with a sense of community. Executives may participate in Global Leadership 2030, a 12-month initiative focused on working together to resolve business issues and improving the company's bottom line that offers opportunities for executives to raise their visibility. More than 37 percent of Colgate-Palmolive’s senior managers are women, as are 35 percent of the company's top 10 percent of earners. Women make up one-fifth of its board of directors.

At General Mills, 96 percent of female employees surveyed said they would recommend the company as a good place to work. The food manufacturer recently declared its intent to increase the representation of women in its most elite positions by 2020 and to strengthen the connection between female executives on a worldwide level. Ranking in the Top 10 of NAFE's Top 50 Companies for Executive Women, General Mills rates highly as an employer of women in key roles -- approximately one-third of all directors, 35 percent of corporate officers and 57 percent of retail division presidents are women.

During the last 12 years, more than 1,000 women at Johnson & Johnson have taken part in leadership programs designed for them. The company's Crossing the Finish Line program educates multicultural women and their supervisors about overcoming barriers to advancement and accelerating their careers. Business units create action plans to retain and promote female employees. One-third of the company's top 10 percent of earners are women, as are one-quarter of executives running divisions with more than $1 billion of revenue.

Kraft Foods fosters a sense of community with its Women's Supply Chain Council and Women's Sales Council, both of which offer regional and national conferences, career development sessions, mentoring programs and networking workshops. Employees participating in "NEW Women Rules” sessions held by the Women's Supply Chain Council read Fawn Germer's The New Woman Rules and discuss its lessons and inspirations. Thirty-seven percent of senior managers are women, as are one-third of the company's corporate executives.

Flexible work schedules are gaining popularity at Procter & Gamble, which ranks in the top 10 of NAFE's list of  top companies for executive women. The company's Corporate Women's Leadership Team, made up of senior female managers, grants rising female employees access to valuable networking and coaching opportunities. Job-related training for female executives is taught by Procter & Gamble's CEO, vice chairs and presidents.  Women make up 45 percent of the company's board of directors and 34 percent of its senior managers.

At Target, 57 percent of employees are women. Women at the retail giant earned 40 percent of all promotions to corporate executive positions in 2011, and the one-year Talent Development Program offers managers, senior managers and directors a variety of educational seminars, coaching sessions and learning groups designed to encourage promising employees toward high achievement. Thirty-six percent of Target's senior managers are women, as are more than half of the company's top 10 percent of earners.

NAFE, a professional membership group, is a division of Working Mother Media. The companies were spotlighted in the February/March 2013 issue of Working Mother magazine.


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