KeyBank, based in Cleveland, Ohio, provides investment management, consumer finance, investment banking products and retail and commercial banking to companies as well as individual customers. They were founded in 1994 by way of a merger between Society Corp. of Cleveland and KeyCorp. Society Corp., also founded in Cleveland, Ohio, was established as a mutual savings bank by Samuel H. Mather in 1867 — then titled the Society for Savings.

Why are they the no. 1 best company for a woman to work for? Let’s count the ways.

Of the companies 14,000+ payroll, over half (62 percent) are female. As of this writing, 272 senior management positions (30 percent of all senior management positions) are occupied by women. KeyBank’s leader, CEO Beth E. Mooney, is the first female CEO of a top 20 U.S. Bank. The company’s board of directors is nearly half female (5 out of 12 are women). Current chief positions held by women include: Annette Hazapis, chief administrative officer of Key Community Bank, Kimberly Manigault, chief financial officer or Key Technology and Operations and Maria Teresa Tejada, chief credit officer in Risk Management.

KeyBank saw a notable increase in female representation within their executive leadership team, from 18 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2013. The company attributes their increase in female leadership to the Key Executive Women’s Network (KEWN), an in-house leadership program established in 2004.

“KEWN expands opportunities for women to achieve full leadership potential by supporting career development, mentoring, coaching, networking and business development initiatives,” says a company spokesperson. “Professional development was a primary focus area for KEWN in 2013, and included Connections Café sessions in several markets for mid-level employees, as well as the annual KEWN Leadership Experience that provides a curriculum for emerging and high-potential leaders to deepen business acumen, develop professional growth strategies and build networks with senior executives.”

KeyBank also provides a four-pronged approach to work-life balance: flextime (by altering the start and end times of each traditionally scheduled work day), compressed work weeks (so that a full work week may be accomplished in less than five days or alternating weeks), job sharing (dividing responsibilities with another employee) and [email protected], which permits remote working. Finally, KeyBank offers $5,000 in adoption assistance to employees who have adopted a child once per calendar year. It’s no wonder our pick for number one possesses a robust female retention rate of 82 percent.


It was a very tight race between KeyBank and Care.com for the no. 1 slot. While our point system did ultimately land Care.com at no. 2, it’s worth pointing out that Care.com may very well be the no.1 company for women who have children or who are considering expanding their families to accommodate them based on a wealth of support and flexibility.

Care.com, an international database of caregivers for pets, children, seniors or homes, believes that, “Care is a global need without geographic or demographic boundaries.” CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo founded the company in 2006 after experiencing trouble finding a caregiver for both her small children and ailing father. Her company has since grown to 665 employees worldwide as of this writing — a whopping 70 percent of which are women. A little over half of Care.com’s executives, vice presidents and directors are also female along with 43 percent of the board of directors.

“Our acquisitions have naturally favored women-founded and women operated companies as ‘the business of care’ draws in women who create amazing companies,” says a company spokesperson. “This has been a tremendous source of recruiting strong women leaders at Care.com and their prominence in the company attracts more talented senior women managers.” And they stay there. Care.com boasts an impressive 87 percent retention rate of female employees as of September 2014.

A variety of comprehensive maternal practices quickly evidence why: Care.com plans to increase their paid parental leave from one week (or more with short term disability) to 12 weeks in January 2015.  Employees have no set hours and instead focus on end-results and excellent work, permitting them to structure their own work day as needed. Many employees work at home one day a week or as needed. Other more generous perks include an organic produce delivery, dry cleaning drop off and pick up at work as well as on-site manicures and pedicures every other Monday (for men and women).


With only two female board members, Kohl’s landed at no. 3 on our list. However, the retail giant has an abundance of women in leadership roles and is one of only four companies on our list to offer access to on-site child care for corporate associates.

Kohl’s was founded back in 1962 when Max Kohl opened the very first Kohl’s Department Store in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Thirty years later, the company went public with 26 stores and an annual sales of $1 billion. Now, there are approximately 1,200 Kohl’s stores in 49 states, and annual sales have exceeded $18 billion.

Of the company’s 137,000 associates nationwide, 75 percent are women. Nearly 40 percent of senior management positions are also held by women. Women also comprise three chief roles: Michelle Gass, chief customer officer, Krista Berry, chief digital officer and Janet Schalk, chief information officer, with three other women holding the title of executive vice president or above.

Full-time salaried associates at Kohl’s are offered six to eight weeks of 100 percent paid maternity leave. Male full-time salaried associates are eligible for two weeks paid paternity leave. Full-time hourly associates are offered six to eight weeks of 60 percent paid maternity leave while their male counterparts are offered two weeks of 60 percent paid leave. Kohl's also offers the “Exclusively Yours” pregnancy program to support  moms-to-be throughout their pregnancy, providing access to registered nurses, books and other materials with tips to keep a new baby healthy.  

Alternative work arrangements like a compressed work week, flextime and telecommuting are also available to employees. Unspecified adoption assistance is provided to all full-time associates.


The Home Shopping Network was founded back in 1982 as the Home Shopping Club, then just a local cable channel in Florida. By 1985, the channel had grown to the first national shopping channel, thereby changing its name to the iconic Home Shopping Network (HSN).

Now, HSN is a $3.4 billion interactive multichannel retailer with 4,390 employees, 67 percent of which are women. A little more than half of senior management positions (54 percent) are held by female employees. The company currently sports a standout five ladies in chief positions, including CEO and director Mindy Grossman, Judy Schmeling, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Maria Martinez, chief human resources officer, Karen Etzkorn, chief information officer and Anne Martin-Vachon, chief merchandising officer. CEO Grossman has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” and Forbes magazine has named Grossman one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” three times.

Four women sit on the board of directors, making the board 40 percent female. With a 65 percent retention rate among all female employees, HSN has seen a consistent 54 percent of senior management positions going to women over the past five years.

HSN offers full-time employees four weeks paid of maternity or paternity leave. Working from home and flexible scheduling are also used widely throughout the company. “Our business model lends itself to flexibility at the workplace, “ says a company spokesperson. “We have many women who have flexible work arrangements, even at a senior level. Particularly within the Finance team, there are two Directors who work part-time which allows them additional work-life balance and HSN is able to employ these highly valuable employees. Additionally, one of our most innovative and flexible work solutions is our Work-at-Home program in our Sales and Service center which we created in 2005. This program has been instrumental in attracting and retaining high-caliber individuals to work both full-time and part-time flexible schedules.”

HSN has found that their Work-at-Home program has reduced employee turnover and “brought an even higher quality candidate to HSN for this role.” HSN has more than 1,500 employees who take customer calls from their homes, with part-time scheduling and the flexibility of an overnight shift. Other perks include expectant mother parking, a one-mile walking path, massage room and on-site fitness classes.


Facebook was iconically launched in February 2004 while founder (and now chairman and CEO) Mark Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard University. Ten years later, the pioneering social media platform has, on average, 864 million daily active users and is rapidly changing the way we consume our media. (The company went public in May 2012.)

As of September 2014, Facebook has 8,348 employees, 31 percent of which are female. Twenty-three percent of employees within senior management (director level or above) are women. As chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg (of the Lean In movement) is the sole woman who carries a “chief” role at the company. Two of the eight members on the board of directors are female (Sandberg and Susan Desmond-Hellmann).

To foster professional growth in female employees, Facebook offers Lean In circles, Women’s Leadership Day (a global event to educate women on advancing within their careers) and a Women Employees Resource group, headed by chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer. (Facebook cites that women who have senior level men mentoring them and advocating for them tend to advance more quickly than female mentors). Other efforts to promote women are the Inclusion Lunch Series, where employees have the opportunity to meet for lunch with a fellow Facebook employee who has accomplished a compelling project, Unconscious Bias Training, a course for employees to mitigate unconscious bias and a Tech Women’s Day, an annual event (since 2012) that promotes Facebook women in technical roles.

The company is also very devoted to encouraging more women and girls into STEM fields, as evidenced in their partnerships with Girls Who Code, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, #YesWeCode, Black Girls Code and Facebook University (FBU), a paid eight-week summer internship that provides iOS development experience to freshman undergraduate female students and people of color.

Facebook offers a stellar four months of paid maternity or paternity leave for both biological and adoptive parents (which can be split up any which way during the child’s first year of life). “Many of our executives (men included) have taken advantage of the four-month parental leave we offer; we talk openly about people who are on parental leave as a way to reiterate how important and accepted this is,” says a company spokesperson. “We see our parental leave policy as a way to support the family as a full unit — even women who don’t work here benefit from a policy that allows paternity leave. We have received thank you notes from families following parental leave.”

The company offers $4,000 in “baby cash” for each child born or adopted as well as fertility assistance (egg freezing and surrogacy) and up to $5,000 of adoption assistance (per child). Facebook reimburses 100 percent of eligible expenses related to surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation up to a maximum of $20,000 (per birth). The company also has no set hours; employees are free to craft their own schedule and work from wherever they choose, whether that’s from home or other offices across the world.


Neustar, a real-time cloud-based information services and analytics company, was founded in 1997 as a part of Lockheed Martin, an American global aerospace, defense and security company. Lockheed Martin obtained a contract to administer the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and created a huge database to offer telephone companies equal access to phone numbers. To make sure that access to the phone numbers was indeed fair, the company was divested in 1999 by Lockheed Martin and renamed Neustar.

Lisa A. Hook has been Neustar’s CEO for four years, and initially joined the company in January 2008. Chief marketing officer, Lisa Joy Rosner, was named a “Silicon Valley Woman of Influence”  and “B2B Marketer of the Year” in 2013. Rosner has also been a guest lecturer at the Haas School of Business, Stanford and Tuck School of Business. (She is also a mother to four children with a stay-at-home husband).

Neustar employees receive both maternity and paternity leave of 80 paid hours to be used within the first year of their child’s birth or adoption. Full-time employees can be reimbursed expenses directly related to the legal adoption up to $5,000 per adoption (the maximum benefit is $10,000). Unspecified IVF support is available through the company’s health plan (depending on which one the employee selects) up to a lifetime maximum. The company also offers both telecommuting and flex-time (subject to manager approval).

Lastly, Neustar offers female employees upward mobility through their Women in Technology Mentor-Protégé program, which fosters relationships with other successful women in technology. The program consists of a five-part series that includes a professional facilitator, guest speakers and partner mentoring. Each monthly session examines issues such as work life balance, networking, executive presence and communication.


Gannett is an international media and marketing solutions company and works with brands across broadcast, digital, mobile and print products. Headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Gannett has offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and many more cities. The company’s current clients include 82 US daily publications, including USA TODAY, and 443 non-daily local publications in 30 states.

Of Gannett’s 30,000 employees, 44.4 percent are women — as are four out of 10 board members. Over the past five years, the company has seen improved growth in their female senior managers, which have increased from 21.4 percent to 29 percent. The company established a succession planning process (to determine who succeeds an open position), which has a goal of promoting 50 percent of women to vice president and above positions.

Two leadership programs, Employee Resource Group and Talent Development Program, actively focus on networking and development for female employees; the latter encourages recent college graduates for development within the company. Seventy-five percent of participants within these leadership programs are women.

Gannett also has comprehensive and practical work-life balance benefits. Maternity leave policies vary by location and years of service, but generally women are paid 100 percent up to eight weeks following the birth of a child. Employees also receive up to $2,500 in adoption assistance. Telecommuting options, flextime and job shares are also all available with manager approval (50 percent of current telecommuters are women).

Keurig Green Mountain

Keurig Green Mountain, the speciality coffee, tea and coffee maker company, was founded in 1981 as a small cafe in Vermont. As demand for the cafe’s coffee escalated, restaurants and inns nearby began asking for their own supply. The original cafe is no longer owned by Green Mountain coffee, but Waterbury, VT remains the company’s headquarters.

Keurig now produces over a 100 different coffee choices throughout North America (some of which sell under Newman’s Own Organics brands), which range from flavored coffee to speciality blends to certified organic and Fair Trade certified.

With around 6,000 employees worldwide, the company reports that, as of 2013, 36.1 percent of their employees are female. As of that same year, 37 percent of senior management positions were held by women, which rose from 32.3 percent in 2011. Addtionally, one-third of the company’s executive positions are held by women: Linda Kazanova, chief human resources officer, Fran Rathke, chief financial officer and Lori Tauber Marcus, chief global brand & product officer. (The company’s 12-person board of directors is also one-fourth female.)

The company provides a comprehensive work-life balance package: 100 percent paid maternity and paternity leave for two weeks. Flexible work arrangements are available through HR and manager approval. Keurig also provides financial assistance for employees adopting a child, or adopting a spouse’s, domestic partner’s or civil union partner’s child, underscoring a recognition for the change in landscape of American families. Similarly, financial assistance is also available for surrogacy.

Kelly Services

Kelly Services, a temporary staffing agency founded in 1946, provides employment to over 540,000 people globally. Listed as one of Fortune’s 500 companies, Kelly employs over 8,000 individuals between their headquarters in Troy, Michigan and various branch offices globally.  Their revenue in 2013 was $5.4 billion.

Seventy percent of those 8,000 slots are held by female employees, and 49 percent of senior management positions are held by women (which have grown from 47 percent women in senior management in 2010). Such strong numbers hold even stronger in the company’s female retention rate: 86.1 percent.

Three prominent chief positions are also held by women: Patricia Little, chief financial officer, Nina Ramsey, chief human resources officer and Judy Snyder, chief information officer.

“To remain squarely on the forefront of engaging women in leadership roles, Kelly Services has established a business-driven employee resource group specifically for women in leadership, called Leadership in Action (LIA). LIA is dedicated to impacting business results by helping prepare and develop current and future leaders. LIA supports the rise of women in leadership within Kelly and in the global marketplace and is an essential driver of professional and personal development at Kelly,” says a company spokesperson. Teresa Carroll, senior vice president at Centers of Excellence and general manager of KellyOCG is a founding member of LIA.

Kelly Services offers four weeks of paid maternity leave for a “nominal cost.” (Employees have the option to purchase additional paid leave of two to four weeks). Flexible work hour solutions and work-from-home policies are also very popular with employees.


Yahoo! has come a long, long way from its origin as a directory of websites founded in January 1994 by Stanford University graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo. As of April 2014, Yahoo! has over 12,000 employees, 37 percent of which are women worldwide. Perhaps the company’s most visible female employee is CEO Marissa Mayer, who was notably offered the chief executive officer role while pregnant.

Mayer is joined at the chief table by Jacqueline D. Reses, chief development officer, and Kathy Savitt, chief marketing officer. Twenty-three percent of vice presidential roles (and higher) are occupied by women. Of the senior managers in non-tech positions, 52 percent are female. Yahoo!’s board of directors is also 33.3 percent female.

Yahoo! supports female employees at all stages of their career with an in-house employee resource group called Women in Tech (WIT). With chapters in the Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA as well as Southern California, NYC, Boston and as far as Bangalore, WIT provides networking events and leadership training. Back at headquarters, WIT also hosts an annual “Women Working Wonders” event, highlighting Yahoo! female technologists and their in-progress products. Over 400 women from companies around Silicon Valley usually attend.

Mothers and fathers at Yahoo! receive up to eight weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. (Mothers who give birth are entitled to an additional eight weeks paid leave). The company’s New Child Leave program also offers a gift basket of Yahoo! swag and reimbursement for $500 worth of expenses, such as groceries shopping and house cleaning services. (Expectant mothers also receive specialized parking).

Fun fact: Yahoo!’s health plan also covers transgender reassignment surgery.

Yahoo!’s adoption assistance program reimburses parents for up to $5,000 of adoption expenses. Employees are also eligible for a free premium Care.com membership, connecting them with childcare providers, housekeepers, senior care providers, pet sitters, tutors and more.

Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray, a full-service investment bank and asset management firm, was founded in 1895 in Minneapolis by George Lane. At the time, the commercial paper brokerage was called Commercial Paper and Collateral Loans & Co. Now, the company has 35 offices throughout the US, Europe and Asia with just over 1,000 employees, 32.9 percent of which are women.

Two women currently occupy “chief” titles: Deb Schoneman, chief financial officer, and Ann McCague, chief compliance officer. The company’s 3.9 percent of female managing directors has grown from 3.2 percent in 2009. And Piper Jaffray’s retention rate among female employees is a stellar 94.3 percent.

Employees who have been with the company for at least three months are eligible for four weeks of paid maternity or paternity leave, and telecommuting, flex-time and job shares are available based on individual's circumstances. Piper Jaffray & Co reimburses adoption expenses up to an annual maximum of $2,500 per adoption (per family).

To further support female employees within the company, Piper Jaffray & Co provides development workshops, networking opportunities, recruiting events in New York, Minneapolis and San Francisco and an E-Quest partnership to ensure a diverse pool of candidates.

Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls provides products and services to optimize energy (and efficiencies) of automobiles, electronics, batteries and buildings. The company was incorporated in 1885 as Johnson Electric Service, two years after Warren S. Johnson received the first patent for an electric thermostat. The professor at the State Normal School in Whitewater, Wisconsin helped launch the entire building control industry, as Johnson Electric manufactured and installed temperature regulation systems within buildings. In 1974, the company was renamed Johnson Controls.

Today, Johnson Controls has 170,000 employees, 29.5 percent of which are female. Of the company’s senior management positions, 17.1 percent are occupied by women, which has increased by 10 percentage points since 2005. Susan Davis is the chief human resource officer and executive vice president and Kim Metcalf-Kupres is the vice president and chief marketing officer.

The company’s leadership programs include a “strategic hiring initiative” in the respective finance and operations departments to target women, as well as other minority candidates, for “high visibility, high-impact roles.” In response to data that director level female employees plateau at Johnson Controls, the company crafted a mentoring program. Business Resource Groups (BRGs) aim to improve the visibility of female employees by placing them in group leadership positions. And for the most senior women at the company, there is the Senior Women Action Network (SWAN) for women to mentor “up-and-coming female talent and influence policy/practice relative to the identification, hiring and promotion of female leaders. “

Johnson Controls also has a program to provide exposure for high-potential mid-level female leaders as well as an invitation-only program that brings high-potential women through development and succession planning with goals for retention and promotion.

For corporate employees based in the US, Johnson Controls offers six weeks paid maternity leave at either 60 or 100 percent depending on the employee’s tenure with the company. Paternity leave also includes six weeks paid and employees are required to take all six weeks within the first 16 weeks following the birth of a child (but not consecutively). Telecommuting, flex-time and job shares are all available. No wonder Johnson Controls has an impressive 90.3 percent retention rate among female employees.

Gap, Inc.

Even if you’re not a huge shopper, chances are, you own at least one piece of attire from this leading specialty retailer. That’s because Gap, Inc. encompasses six of the most familiar apparel brands on Earth: Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Intermix and Old Navy, with almost 3,600 stores and nearly 140,000 employees worldwide. Doris and Don Fisher founded the first Gap store in 1969. Today, there are outposts in more than 90 countries. To think, it all started because the Fishers weren’t satisfied with how Don’s jeans fit.

Women seeking employment at this global retail giant will be pleased with what the company has to offer. In 2014, the San Francisco-based company’s revenue was reported to be more than $16 billion. Seventy-four percent of new hires are women with nearly 47 percent of women employees serving as executive vice presidents or higher. Examples include Bobbi Silten, senior vice president, global responsibility and president of Gap Foundation who joined the company in 2005 and Nancy Green, president and general manager of Athleta who has worked at the company for 21 years.

Plus, Gap, Inc.’s workplace benefits also demonstrate a commitment to their staff. Juggling a heavy work schedule and a family? They offer some backup childcare at certain offices. About to start a family? Their “Phase Out/Phase Back In” program is tailored for new moms, helping them to temporarily leave the workforce to have a baby and to transition them back into their jobs post-maternity-leave with reduced work weeks. The company also has a variety of mentorship programs, including Women in Leadership (WIL) that is specially designed to help women handle the challenges they may face in the workforce.

Certainly these perks satisfy staff: An internal 2012 employee opinion survey found that 82 percent of workers thought everyone had a fair chance of a successful career at Gap, Inc. Compare this to an industry average of only 65 percent who share this view and you can see how this this retailer stays in fashion as a company to join.


IBM’s history may surprise some. Not for what it has become (a household name in computing), but because of its longevity. IBM was first incorporated in 1911 in New York City as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R) with 1,300 employees. By 1924, its name became what we know it as today: International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM.

Today, the Armonk, NY-based operation is still in the business of “information handling” even though its products and services have changed many times over the last century. From analytics to visualization, IBM has solutions to just about any business’s information needs. IBM also stands out for its human capital, making our list as a company at the forefront of empowering women in its workplace.

“At IBM, women lead the way. Successful women are part of our legacy,” says the company, arguing that they are the ideal tech company for women to work at. Employing more than 430,000 people in 170 countries, IBM publicly celebrates their “Technologistas” online. Featuring profiles of lady employees with all kinds of skills, from IT specialist to analytics strategist to engineer to program manager, IBM makes their desire to hire women well-known.

And their management demonstrates this, especially at the very top. Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO, is one of the most public female faces in business leadership today.  With a degree in computer science and electrical engineering, Rometty began her career at IBM in 1981. Over the years, she made her way up the rungs of a male-dominated field, holding onto a series of leadership positions successfully, including senior vice president and group executive of IBM sales, marketing and strategy. She was named chairman, president and CEO in 2012.

As an employee at IBM, females at any level can enjoy some standout perks. Want to start a family? Adoption aid and IVF is offered for couples seeking need. Just had a baby? Mothers receive up to eight weeks paid maternity leave and even fathers get paid paternity leave. Need a little more support for a kid with special needs? IBM supports children with disabilities of employees with a financial reimbursement for services up to $50,000.  

Jones Lang LaSalle

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), has come a long way from its start in London in 1783 as an auctioneer by founder, Richard Winstanley. Today, JLL is one of the world’s largest, most trustworthy commercial real estate and investment firms, thanks to its slow and steady growth in 200-plus years. JLL has a far reach: there are 200 corporate offices worldwide in 75 countries, 52,700 global workers and 16,407 in the U.S. alone. JLL delivers value to clients and shareholders, especially in the complicated sphere of commercial real estate. The revenues prove it: in 2013 JLL made $4 billion.

Beyond these impressive numbers, JLL stands out because of the strength of women in the firm. Of all staff, women represent 32 percent, with nearly 33 percent in senior management roles. JLL also has three women (this represents 30 percent), on its board of directors. Plus, their female retention rate tells a supportive story with a rate of nearly 85 percent. “Ten years ago, women represented 17.37 percent of senior management,” says a JLL spokesperson. “Today, women represent 31.37 percent of senior management.”

JLL sticks to its diversity goals with real evaluations on a weekly basis. “Our goal is to present a slate with no less than 30 percent diverse candidates. If that goal is not met, we work with our recruiting team to implement a plan to source top-tier diverse talent,” says the spokesperson. JLL’s growing in-house Women’s Network has over 5,000 members in almost every geographic location. Its clear objectives: to promote women throughout the organization through targeted mentorship/sponsorship programs, in-person professional development sessions and access to senior leaders in the organization.

In addition, to increase their success rate of advancing and retaining women leaders, JLL holds an annual Women’s Summit where top talent female leaders meet at their Chicago, IL corporate headquarters. Of those women who have attended the inaugural event in 2011, over 95 percent are still with the company and over 15 percent received a promotion within a two-year time frame. Finally, JLL has employee benefits that help support female interests. Examples include paid time for maternity leave for up to eight weeks, a reimbursement for adoption expenses up to $4,000 and an available backup childcare option.

Duke Energy

With over 7 million customers, meet Duke Energy, the nation’s largest utility. This Charlotte, NC-based electric power company caught our attention for more than its revenue ($24.6 billion in revenue in 2013) and employment size (nearly 27,000 people). Duke Energy also holds the distinction of hiring quite a few women in areas of leadership to oversee issues related to power plants, renewable energy, smart grid technologies and energy efficiency services. Nearly 23 percent of its entire workforce is female with women representing a little over 19 percent of senior management and 40 percent in their executive leadership team.

The women at the top at this energy giant include Ann Maynard Gray as Duke Energy’s Chairman of the Board and Lynn Good as vice chairman of the board and Duke Energy CEO. Good herself has said that she had many mentors early in her career, but, alas few were women: “So I’m generationally on the early part of the ascent of women into leadership roles,” she told NPR earlier this year. When she started out, she was often the only woman on the job. At the accounting firm Arthur Andersen at the beginning of her career, Good was one of the first females to make partner in the Midwest. In 2009, Good came onboard at Duke as chief financial officer. There have been changes since. In just the last three years, the percent of women in management at Duke Energy is increasing from 17.7 percent to 18.2 percent.

This upward trend is supported by internal policies that benefit women. For example, a Business Women’s Network employee resource group provides leadership development seminars for the top 200 female performers on staff. Plus, many of Duke Energy’s business units have Diversity Councils to help leadership and employee engagement.

Finally, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help with company-sponsored networking events and workshops. In terms of perks, they offer telecommuting and flex-time/part-time options. Dependent Care Spending Accounts can be set up to enable employees to fund childcare expenses on a pre-tax basis through payroll deductions. And for those interested in starting families, Duke Energy includes IVF in their insurance plan and a reimbursement program for up to $5,000 to cover expenses for those interested in adoption. Clearly Duke Energy tries to cover more than just its customer service area of 104,000 square miles in the Southeast and Midwest.

Wyndham Worldwide

As one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide knows a whole lot about making you feel comfortable at one of their hotels, vacation rentals or purchases. If you’re an employee at this Parsippany, N.J.-based brand, you might also feel like it’s a home away from home. Wyndham makes our list because of the way it encourages its female employees and the perks of joining their team. Let’s count the ways.

With 25,931 U.S. employees as of September 2014, nearly 55 percent are women. Of senior managers, 35.5 percent are women. Just in the c-suite level alone, we counted six: Mary Falvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Patricia Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer; Claire Mahoney, Chief Financial Officer; Gail Mandel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Korin Neff, Senior Vice President, Corporate Compliance Officer; and Barbara Spengler, Chief Information Officer.

Then there are the perks that promote female satisfaction and recognition. For one, Wyndham offers up to $5,000 for adoption aid, a max that is higher than most we surveyed. Their Leading Your Organization (LYO) flagship leadership development program also stands out. As the entry-point for most senior leaders into Wyndham Worldwide’s executive development curriculum, participants are shepherded in ways to inspire their contribution to Wyndham Worldwide.

Employees also enjoy benefits that promote a healthy work-life balance — from Compressed Work Week plans to a Work-at-Home program. Further proof that Wyndham should be on our list? Their employee retention rate among women is an impressive 72.4 percent. Now that’s how you make a work environment hospitable.


Scholastic has come a long way from the four-page magazine that was distributed to classrooms in 1920 by founder M.R. Robinson. Ninety-four years later, 80 percent of kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms in the U.S. read Scholastic materials, reaching more than 25 million students. As the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world, reaching readers in 45 languages and over 150 countries, Scholastic stands out as a company employees are proud to work for because of its dedication to literacy. And we haven’t even told you about their commitment to women-friendly interests yet.

With about 9,459 employees, Scholastic impresses with the number of women working at the company. Nearly 65 percent of employees are women — many in senior management. “There is a long tradition at Scholastic of women in senior management roles,” says a spokesperson. And their numbers support this. Nearly 64 percent of those coveted senior management roles are women. Adds the spokesperson: “It’s a number we’d like to see everywhere.” Of their Management Executive Committee, seven out of the 13 members are women. On their board of directors, 27 percent are female. Impressive too is its profitability as a publisher. In May 2014, Scholastic earned revenue of $1.8 billion.

Their benefits also speak to their appeal. For example, while Scholastic does not have a formal flextime policy in place, some employees do have a telecommuting, work-from-home arrangement determined by their managers. Also, their parental leave is strong. A “primary care parent” is eligible to receive eight weeks of fully paid childcare leave which is to be taken immediately following the end of the maternity disability period (six or eight weeks post-partum), or, in the case of adoption, immediately upon custody.

Plus, Scholastic offers an additional “transition leave,” where the primary care parents, who have completed eight weeks of childcare leave, are also eligible for an additional eight weeks of transition leave at full pay. To qualify for transition leave, the primary care parent must work at least 21 hours per week during this period. “Scholastic supports a work environment that offers solutions to the complex issues our employees face when balancing their work and family commitments,” says the spokesperson. We agree.


San Diego-based Sempra Energy is thriving. Revenues were over $10.5 billion in 2013, they employ 17,000 workers from Southern California down to South America and they’re also successful at what they do. In today’s competitive energy market where conditions can change like a flip of a switch, Sempra Energy consistently serves 31 million consumers thanks to their operation of top-notch energy utilities and services and continual development of an state-of-the art infrastructure for all kinds of gas and electrical needs.

The strong leadership of Debra L. Reed, the chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy since 2011 (she added “chairman” to her roles in 2012) makes up a huge part. Often dubbed one of the most powerful women in business, Reed’s understanding of Sempra Energy runs deep.  She’s spent her entire 36-year career at the utilities company after joining in 1978 with a B.A. in civil engineering from USC. By 1988, she was appointed the company’s first female executive officer at Southern California Gas Co., a subsidiary of Sempra.

Today, her management style reflects in the company’s female presence and the benefits offered to all employees at Sempra Energy. “I believe mentoring is better when done every day in real time. I try to be a good role model and set the example,” Reed has said in the past. “We have a very diverse staff. My key role is to continue to develop future leaders.”

In 1998, Sempra opened an Office of Diversity, resulting in recognition and awards. “In our recruitment efforts, we always strive to cast a wide net to bring in as diverse of a candidate pool as possible,” says Sempra representative. And it shows in their company profile too. Sempra’s presence of women appeals as well: Thirty-one percent of employees are women. In senior management, 36 percent of senior management is female. Thirteen executive positions are held by women and three of the 13 company board members are female.

Then there are the benefits that women (and men) can enjoy. Sempra offers up to two telecommuting days a week plus job share options. They offer reimbursement for up to 10 back-up childcare days. And when your children get older? Sempra even offers scholarships from $1,500 to $16,000 toward your kids’ college education.

Health Net

Health Net, an organization that offers health care services through various health plans, is one of the largest publicly traded health care companies, reportedly serving health benefits to 5.8 millions Americans, including Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs programs. Originally founded as a non-profit in 1977, Health Net eventually made the switch to a for-profit company in 1992. The company is headquartered in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, CA. In 2013, Health Net pulled in $11.1 billion dollars in annual revenue.

Health Net’s first female CEO, Gale S. Fitzgerald was appointed CEO in 1993, and later joined the Health Net board of directors as chair in 2001. When announcing news of her ascension to the board, Richard W. Hanselman, chairman, noted that Fitzgerald was chosen for her "extensive knowledge of information technology and her years of experience in this innovative field with both CTG and IBM."

By 2001, she had already banked nearly 30 years in the information technology industry, first joining CTG in 1991 as senior vice president of CTG's northeast region. Prior to joining CTG, she worked at IBM for 19 years in various leadership positions in sales and marketing. (She first joined IBM in 1972 as a systems engineer).

In addition to four women in C-suite positions (including two senior vice presidents), Health Net offers paid parental leave (maternity and paternity) and flextime/off site working allowance for employees. The company also offers adoption aid and reimbursement for IVF.


This Birmingham, AL-based company leads the nation as the largest healthcare provider specializing in patient rehabilitation. They offer quality in-patient care with clinicians and experts in therapy and medical needs. With 102 hospitals in 28 states and Puerto Rico as well as dozens of home health and outpatient clinics, HealthSouth makes it to our list for more than just its breadth of reach.

For one, HealthSouth shows a commitment to female leadership, not just patient care. Three women sit on its board of directors: Yvonne M. Curl, a former vice president and chief marketing officer of Avaya, Inc.; Joan E. Herman, president and chief executive officer of Herman & Associates, LLC, a healthcare and management-consulting firm, since 2008; and Leslye G. Katz, former senior vice president and chief financial officer of IMS Health, Inc., a provider of information, services, and technology for clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Inside the company, three women also hold coveted c-suite positions. There’s Mary Ann Arico, chief investment relations officer, Dr. Dexanne Clohan, chief medical officer, Cleaster Ewing, chief compliance officer, and Cheryl Levy, chief human resources officer.

In addition to a substantial presence of women in leadership roles, HealthSouth offers standout perks for their staff. For example, if you’re having trouble starting a family, spendy IVF is offered in their medical plan. They also offer discounted insurance policies and life and income insurance protection.

Then there are the many varieties of aid for those pursuing expensive advanced or specialized degrees required of many positions in healthcare. HealthSouth offers a loan forgiveness program to qualified students who need financial help to offset the costs of pursuing clinical degrees in nursing, therapy or pharmacy studies. They also offer tuition reimbursement to employees wanting job-related continuing education. HealthSouth also initiated a "clinical career ladder" program to help reward those pursuing advanced degrees related to HealthSouth patient services. This company’s focus on care goes beyond just its patients.


Headquartered in Purchase, NY MasterCard has been a leader in the payments industry for more than 40 years. But did you know that MasterCard is also a champion for diversity, family-friendly work policies and many inclusion-driven practices?

Started in 1966 as a "members-owned" business by a bunch of bankers, MasterCard has grown and diversified in the last four decades. It has adapted well to the changing shopping and technology needs of consumers and merchants around the world to make all of their transactions secure and safe, all the while keeping its presence intact at the center of commerce. "From the earliest days of credit cards to the contactless and wireless payment options of today, MasterCard has led the industry in driving this evolution," says the company.

It pretty much sums up their success — and appeal as a place to work. Plus, there’s every reason to think MasterCard hasn’t even reached its saturation point in the market: believe it or not, cash is still king. Of the world’s transactions, 85 percent are still made with cash or checks.

For women seeking a job where their voices are heard, MasterCard satisfies. For one, women at MasterCard make up 44 percent of employees, with more than 8,200 employees worldwide. Women thrive in their leadership and employee benefits that reflect this family-friendly, inclusive culture. Thirty-eight percent of managers and executives are women. In the c-suite, too. There’s Ann Cairns, president of international markets, Martina Hund-Mejean, CFO and Donna Johnson, chief diversity officer.

MasterCard also promotes an open and flexible work environment (a reported 65 percent telecommute), an adoption assistance program and a maternity and paternity leave plan (fully paid for up to four weeks) that is pleasing to see. Got kids? MasterCard helps you too with an allowance for 20 days per year for backup dependent care. For a company to offer all that? In a word: priceless.

Hawaiian Electric Industries

It’s hard to be in Hawaii and not notice Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI)’s influence. For more than a century, Hawaiian Electric Company (one of the two subsidiaries of HEI) has provided 1.4 million residents of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, Lanai and Molokai with the energy they need. Considering Hawaii’s unique environmental challenges, this is no small feat: Just recently, consumers were relieved to know that the electric company was closely monitoring local Kilauea lava flows to insure that there was no possible threat to power lines. (Not the kind of energy concerns you find in Dallas or Boston). Plus, HEI is a powerhouse in the local banking community. Its other subsidiary, American Savings Bank, is a Hawaii leader in the banking industry with 57 branches statewide.

HEI also touts nearly 2,800 employees and, as a public company, nearly 25,000 Hawaii residents as shareholders. Finally, with revenues in 2013 at nearly $3 billion, it’s clearly a business to join if living in Hawaii just happens to appeal.

Women at HEI particularly thrive. The most obvious example is Constance H. Lau, the president and CEO. Born and raised in Honolulu, Lau moved stateside for her education. She graduated from Yale with a B.S. in administrative sciences, received a J.D. from University of California Hastings College of Law and also an M.B.A from Stanford. Then she returned to Hawaii and joined the company in 1984 as treasurer.

Having a woman with such competence in leadership has definitely impacted the makeup of Hawaiian Electric. Nearly 30 percent of total employees are women with 47 percent in executive positions as female. There are female-friendly benefits too from job sharing and flex work hours to an adoption reimbursement program for up to $2,000. Perhaps most indicative of the culture of inclusion at HEI? They have a whopping employee retention rate of 95 percent for females (the highest of all the companies on this list).


It was back in 1853 when a little company called Aetna Life Insurance Company was first incorporated. By 1861 it was offering life insurance policies that actually paid dividends to policyholders. Today, Aetna touts 23.1 million medical members. This Hartford-CT-based company has come a long way from its humble 19th century roots.

In fact, some could argue the company’s profile has never looked better. Aetna’s 2013 revenue was $47.2 billion — a 33 percent increase from 2012 to set a company record. In particular, Aetna is promising for women seeking a workplace with a strong female presence. Five women serve on their board of directors, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the board. Of their 48,000 employees, 43 percent of their executives and senior managers are women.

Plus, Aetna’s best practices go beyond promoting women to leadership roles. The job perks are impressive at all levels. Take the Aetna Inc Adoption Assistance Program: it reimburses employees up to $5,000 per child. Aetna's family and medical leave policy allows eligible employees to take a total of 16 weeks of job-protected leave in any rolling 12-month period.

Aetna also offers impressive flextime/telework (work at home) programs. As of March 2014, an estimated 45 percent of their national workforce held a telework arrangement. Finally, Aetna fosters mentoring programs for women. Their Women’s Leadership Alliance (WLA) stands out because it develops strategies and tactics to accelerate female advancement into senior management and executive-tier positions. The WLA’s signature event is an annual conference that addresses the barriers and opportunities for success and advancement of women at Aetna. Clearly, this is an area that Aetna is committed to.


Like a few other companies on this list (from HEI to IBM), Comerica is older than all of us. It first opened its doors as the Detroit Savings Fund Institute in August 1849 with just six customers and $41 in receipts. The institution grew in the 20th century, surviving the stock market crash, the Great Depression, two World Wars and various other challenges to finally gain its current name, Comerica Incorporated, in the mid-1980s and a new headquarters in Dallas, Texas where the financial service company still exists today. In the 21st century its success has certainly remained consistent: its assets as of June 2014 were $65.3 billion and its revenue was $2.5 billion.

Today, Comerica’s reach is beyond Texas, having outposts in Arizona, California, Michigan, even Canada and Mexico. With 9,168 employees, Comerica makes our list because it is also a company where women excel. Nearly 68 percent of workers are women with 25 percent in senior management positions. “We have seen a 69 percent increase in women at the higher senior management levels since 2005,” says a Comerica spokesperson.

Women also hold key c-suite positions in the business. There’s Karen L. Parkhill, vice chairman and chief financial officer and member of the Comerica Bank Board of Directors who joined in 2011. There’s also Megan D. Burkhart, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. Burkhart joined in 1997 and leads divisions that includes compensation, employee relations and benefits as well as talent management.

Comerica also gets distinction for some of its programs directed at female employees to insure that they thrive. Take their Menttium Mentoring program, an external practice, which Comerica hand picks up to five women a year to attend. Comerica also has an internal Leadership Development Program “to ensure than an adequate pipeline of women leaders are ready for Comerica senior officer positions,” says the spokesperson. With a female employee retention rate of over 86 percent in an industry known for flux, clearly Comerica is doing a lot right.

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