NAFE Names Aetna to Top 10 Companies for Female Executives
NEW YORK CITY, March 23, 2009 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) has been named by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) to the 2009 NAFE Top 50 Companies for Executive Women. Aetna is among the Top 10 on the list. Released on March 16, this prestigious list spotlights corporations whose commendable practices and employment records demonstrate that women matter to the bottom line.
"This recognition by NAFE is affirmation of Aetna's leadership and commitment to providing a culture where women can thrive and make substantial contributions to the enterprise," said Felicia Norwood, president and chief operating officer, ActiveHealth Management, an Aetna subsidiary. "To be recognized as one of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women, and score within the Top 10, is an accomplishment of which all our employees can be particularly proud."
Norwood represented Aetna at a NAFE luncheon in New York on March 18, at which the Top Companies were honored.
In determining its Top Companies, NAFE places specific emphasis on the number of women running the business-of-the-business, jobs with profit-and-loss responsibility. According to a Columbia University/University of Maryland study, "greater female representation in senior management positions leads to… better firm quality and performance." In addition, a McKinsey study, "Women Matter," reports that companies with the most women senior executives and board members perform best.
"NAFE applauds the strides taken by our Top Companies, and urges further action across the board. It's essential that companies realize that workplace equality is more than a moral obligation-it's a fiscal one," says Betty Spence, NAFE president. "Currently, women hold less than ten percent of the jobs responsible for profit-and-loss at our largest corporations, with an alarming 19 percent decline in recent years. Those companies with women running operations and making major decisions will have a significant competitive advantage."
Aetna's initiatives to help women in the organization grow in their careers, and promote their success and gender equality in the workplace include Diverse Discoveries, a leadership development program for women of color at Aetna, as well as several employee resource groups including the Aetna Women Employee Resource Group and the Aetna Working Mothers Employee Resource Group.
This is the eighth time that Aetna has been named a NAFE Top Company.
To make the list of the NAFE Top 50, companies must have at least two women on the board and track gender in P&L jobs, something they have not done before. "Companies that have women contributing their perspective and expertise to the actual running of the business not only are the ones that will survive our economic crisis, they will emerge from it as leaders in the global economy," said Carol Evans, NAFE CEO.
Methodology: In addition to corporate programs and policies dedicated to advancing women, NAFE measured results, examining the number of women in each company overall, in senior management and on its board of directors. NAFE drew particular attention to the number of women with profit-and-loss responsibility. 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.