The Top Companies for Female Executives
Credit: Female executive image via Shutterstock

No company has embraced women in leadership roles as much as Illinois-based Abbott, a new study finds.

Research from the National Association for Female Executives revealed the health care company heads this year's Top 50 Companies for Executive Women. Abbott — with more than 32,000 employees — has women in more than 40 percent of its senior management positions and 23 percent of its corporate executive jobs. In addition, women comprise one-third of its board of directors.

Among the Top 50 overall, women make up 25 percent of corporate executives, compared to all Fortune 500 companies, which have just 14 percent of executive positions filled by females.

In addition, the percentage of board of directors' seats occupied by women increased to 26 percent this year, compared with 17 percent across the Fortune 500.

"This year we see measurable progress for women at companies that have made their advancement a priority, a smart strategy given the growing research that correlates greater numbers of women in top positions with higher revenues," said Betty Spence, president of the NAFE.

Here are other companies ranked in this year's Top 50 Companies for Executive Women.

  • AstraZeneca: 41 percent of senior managers and 29 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • General Mills: 37 percent of senior managers and 38 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • IBM: 27 percent of senior managers and 23 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • Johnson & Johnson: 31 percent of senior managers and 23 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • KPMG: 37 percent of senior managers and 18 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • Marriott International: 40 percent of senior managers and 33 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • Procter & Gamble: 34 percent of senior managers and 30 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • Prudential Financial: 33 percent of senior managers and 27 percent of corporate executives are women.
  • State Farm: 40 percent of senior managers and 34 percent of corporate executives are women.

The companies were ranked based on applications submitted to the NAFE. The application included more than 200 questions on female representation, especially the corporate officer and profit-and-loss leadership positions, as well as tracked how many employees have access to and take advantage of programs and policies that promote the advancement of women. The application also focused on how companies train managers to help women advance and how those managers are held accountable for the advancement of female employees that they oversee. To be eligible, companies must have at least 1,000 employees, as well as two women on their board of directors.

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