Getting it right: EWNJ to honor N.J. firms with most women on boards

Barbara Kauffman of the Newark Regional Business Partnership is the president-elect of EWNJ. – Executive Women of New Jersey

For Michellene Davis, it’s all about the numbers.

The more women companies have on their corporate boards, the more money companies make. It’s as simple as that, studies show.

Davis was touting one of the findings in “A Seat at the Table,” the biennial report created by the Executive Women of New Jersey.

The report names the 22 companies in New Jersey that have at least three women on their board.

Davis, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at RWJBarnabas Health who serves as president of EWNJ, said those companies get a number of benefits.

“The businesses on our list and our research resoundingly demonstrate that companies with three or more women on their boards financially outperform their counterparts,” Davis said. “This list is an essential component of EWNJ’s work because it highlights firms that exemplify the impact of gender diversity on business success.

“There continues to be a false and damaging perception that efforts to improve diversity on boards are at odds with merit-based advancement.”

The 22 companies on this year’s list will be recognized at EWNJ’s A Seat at the Table Corporate Gender Diversity Awards Breakfast, at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 30 at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick.

The corporations that made the EWNJ list also will be highlighted in the organization’s much-anticipated third biennial report on gender diversity in top leadership at New Jersey’s publicly traded companies.

The report, based on research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is the only one of its kind in the state and will be released at the breakfast.

Barbara E. Kauffman, EWNJ president-elect and the chief operating officer of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, stressed the importance of the report.

“Our report is the centerpiece of our efforts to advance women’s corporate leadership,” she said. “It allows us to quantify for the public and for companies how gender diversity on boards contributes to stronger financial performance and fewer governance-related issues such as bribery, corruption, shareholder battles, and fraud.

“It also illustrates the significance of our work by raising awareness of the drastic underrepresentation of women in the boardroom and in the C-suite.”

EWNJ is the state’s leading senior-level executive women’s organization committed to increasing the number of women in top corporate leadership.

The 22 companies:

  • American Water Works Co. Inc. in Voorhees;
  • Ascena Retail Group Inc. in Mahwah;
  • Becton, Dickinson and Co. in Franklin Lakes;
  • Campbell Soup Co. in Camden;
  • Celgene Corp. in Summit;
  • CIT Group Inc. in Livingston;
  • Covanta Holding Corp. in Morristown;
  • Dun & Bradstreet Corp. in Short Hills;
  • Honeywell in Morris Plains;
  • Innophos Holdings Inc. in Cranbury;
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc. in Hoboken;
  • Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick;
  • Merck & Co. Inc. in Kenilworth;
  • Northfield Bancorp Inc. in Woodbridge;
  • Prudential Financial Inc. in Newark;
  • Quest Diagnostics Inc. in Madison;
  • Realogy Holdings Corp. in Madison;
  • South Jersey Industries in Folsom;
  • The Children’s Place Inc. in Secaucus;
  • The Vitamin Shoppe Inc. in Secaucus.
  • Verisk Analytics Inc. in Jersey City;
  • Wyndham Worldwide Corp. in Parsippany.