The current market leaders could run into some challengers.
By Robert Dixon
Insurance companies and financial services firms with insurance components, make up more than 10 percent of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women named by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) on Feb. 12. Prudential Financial and State Farm Insurance Co. are among the top 10 firms on the list. A number of broad financial services companies with insurance subsidiaries are also included in the top 50.
At all of the insurance companies on the list, “more than half of the employees are women,” said Krista Carothers, senior research editor at the Working Mother Research Institute, in e-mailed comments to InsuranceNewsNet. Working Mothers magazine publishes the study annually. At five of those insurers, more than a quarter of the corporate executives are women as well.
The eight insurers that made the 2013 list are (alphabetically):
• American Express
• Mass Mutual Life Insurance
• New York Life
• Prudential Financial
• State Farm
Each of those companies wins marks for its inclusion of women in the top ranks. “Four of them have boards made up of more than 20 percent women, and at five more than 20 percent of the executives who report directly to the CEO are women,” Carothers wrote.
“Prudential is committed to ensuring that we're an employer of choice for extraordinary female talent,” said Sharon Taylor, senior vice president of human resources at Prudential, in a company news release. “We believe that we are a great place for women to work and succeed and we're honored to be recognized for that.”
The NAFE Top Companies survey evaluates companies on several aspects that examine how women fare in their respective firms. Factors considered include career advancement, succession planning, profit-and-loss roles, gender pay parity, support programs and work-life programs.
Firms must answer 200 questions concerning female representation at all levels, but especially the corporate officer and profit-and-loss leadership ranks, to be included in the list. The application also tracks access and usage of programs and policies that promote the advancement of women, as well as the training and accountability of managers in relation to the number of women who advance. Companies invited to apply for inclusion on the list must have at least 1,000 employees and a minimum of two women serving on the board of directors.
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