The world is a fraught place for the contemporary women. However the latest figures show that we are now slowly but surely breaking through the glass ceiling. It is just that some day’s it certainly doesn’t feel that way! There are certain companies that definitely stand out from the rest when it comes to helping female execs climb the corporate ladder.
The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), annually recognizes organizations whose policies and practices encourage the advancement of women’s careers with their Top 50 Companies for Executive Women list. This year, they report a milestone: “At our winning companies, women are running 23 percent of the operations that bring in more than $1 billion in revenue.”
At the companies that made the top 50 list, women hold 23 percent of board seats (versus 16 percent at Fortune 500 companies) and represent 14 percent of CEOs (versus 2 percent of all companies nationwide). According to NAFE, “the winning companies are advancing women whose personal brands combine acute business acumen with collaboration, listening and people development.”
Some of those assets, characteristic of female leaders, are considered ‘soft-skills,’ Daniel Goldman argues that Emotional Intelligence drives excellence which is more than IQ. In fact in his book ‘Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ’ Goldman says that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow, and that our emotions play a far greater role in thought, decision making and individual success than is commonly acknowledged. Emotional Intelligence includes ‘soft skills’ such as self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, zeal and motivation, empathy and social deftness. Research shows that these qualities mark people who excel in the workplace.
It would seem that those who made the list understand this. Here is an overview of the companies honoured and what they did to make the list.
Abbott’s Women Leaders in Action (WLA) is a dedicated program that focuses on the development of women leaders.
Accenture created the course “Developing Client-centric Women” to help female senior managers qualify for senior executive positions.
American Express offers a program called Pathways to Sponsorship, which helps pair women with sponsors who serve as advocates for their work.
DuPont has a P&L initiative committed to sponsoring and advancing 36 women within two years.
At public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, women run half the half the U.S. office and serve as four of the seven regional presidents.
IBM launched the “Building Relationships and Influencing” initiative (BRI) to target key “nuggets” that hold women back to help them progress in their careers.
KPMG created a Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard, which helps identify women stalled in the progression of their career.
Kraft Foods offers the course “Efficacy for Women,” which helps women improve skills they often lack, such as influencing, risk-taking and building networks.
Last year, Marriott International selected women to fill five of their 12 newly created VP positions.
At Walmart, the President’s Global Council of Women Leaders focuses on developing female leaders and championing their opportunities internationally.
WellPoint has improved gender fairness by offering a job-positing tool that makes succession planning transparent.
Top 50 Companies for Executive Women 2011
4. Allstate Insurance Company
5. American Electric Power
6. American Express Company
7. AOL Inc
10. Bank of America
11. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical USA
12. Bristol-Myers Squibb
15. Colgate-Palmolive Company
17. Eli Lilly and Company
18. Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
19. General Mills
20. HCA Virginia Health System – Richmond Market
21. HSBC North America
22. IBM Corporation
23. Intel Corporation
24. Johnson & Johnson
25. KPMG LLP
26. Kraft Foods, Inc.
27. Macy’s Inc.
28. Marriott International, Inc.
29. McDonald’s Corporation
30. McKinsey & Company
32. MetLife, Inc.
33. New York Life Insurance Company
34. Northern Trust
35. Office Depot
36. Pfizer Inc
37. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
38. Prudential Financial, Inc.
40. State Farm Insurance
41. Texas Instruments Incorporated
42. The New York Times Company
43. The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
44. The Principal Financial Group
45. The Procter & Gamble Company
46. Verizon Communications Inc
47. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
48. WellPoint, Inc
49. Wyndham Worldwide
50. Xerox Corporation
2011 NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women Non-Profits
1. Bon Secours Richmond Health System
2. March of Dimes Foundation
3. Mercy Health System
4. MidMichigan Health
5. Moffitt Cancer Center
6. Northwestern Memorial HealthCare
8. VCU Health System
9. WellStar Health System
10. Yale-New Haven Hospital