The list, in its 22 year, recognizes organizations that are effective in moving women into senior ranks, including mentoring, employee resource groups and leadership development training.
The companies on the list based in New Jersey include:
- Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, Top 10;
- Merck, Kenilworth;
- Prudential Financial, Newark;
- Sanofi U.S., Bridgewater;
- Unilever, Englewood Cliffs;
- Zoetis, Parsippany.
In all, the 70 companies on the list have 16 women CEOs. Of direct reports to the CEO, the companies average 34% women and two-thirds have specific programs to train managers to develop and promote women.
NAFE named Johnson & Johnson to the Top 10 for its percentage of women in P&L (profit and loss) positions (39%) as well as its percentage of women on boards (27%). It’s been on the list now for 13 years.
“Mentoring and championing women leaders is part of the history at J&J, and it has been for more than 130 years. I’ve been fortunate to have amazing mentors who have helped me become a better leader, and I pay it forward to other women whenever I can. Part of our culture is to make that available to as many employees as possible through sponsorship programs that foster growth of women by pairing them with executives to support their career advancement,” Nefertiti Greene; president, U.S., Ethicon, part of Johnson & Johnson, said.
Merck’s two-year women’s leadership program helped it become one of the Top 70 companies for executive women. In 2018, the program’s 201 participants experienced more promotions, lower turnover and greater representation on succession plans when compared with their peers. NAFE ranked Merck most for its percentage of women who are direct reports to the CEO (30%).
Prudential recently founded two programs focused on moving high-performing women and multicultural people into senior roles. Its initial cohort was 40% women and 30% multicultural. It was ranked most-highly by NAFE in its percentage of women who are direct reports to the CEO (25%) and the percentage of women on boards (23%).
Sanofi’s commitment to gender parity is easily seen with its goal of 50/50 senior leadership by 2025. In 2019, all North American business units and its regional R&D hub were led by women. NAFE ranked it high in its percentage of women on boards (43%).
NAFE said Unilever sets business goals focused around gender balance and the representation of people of color based on U.S. census data. By the end of 2018, it had 52% women managers.
Zoetis’ commitment to women starts with its diverse, 12-member executive team, led by Peck, it said. In addition to Peck, five of its 11 members are women.
“We are honored to once again be recognized by NAFE for our advancement and development programs for women,” Roxanne Lagano, executive vice president, chief human Resources officer and global operations at Zoetis, said. “Under the leadership of our new CEO Kristin Peck, we encourage and support every colleague as they grow personally and professionally and pursue their career goals and aspirations. We view our people as our biggest strength, and we are committed to offering development opportunities that engage and empower all of our colleagues.”
The Top 70 companies were selected using a questionnaire on topics including female representation at all levels. To be considered, companies must have a minimum of two women on their boards of directors, have a U.S.-based CEO and at least 1,000 U.S. employees.