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NAFE names its ‘Top 50 Companies for Executive Women’

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Association for Female Executives on Wednesday released its list of the "Top 50 Companies for Executive Women."

General Mills, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble were all listed in the top 10 on that list. Other notable supplier and retail companies included Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cardinal Health, Colgate-Palmolive, Eli Lilly, Kraft Foods, Merck and Walmart.

"The NAFE Top 50 Companies are major employers that are committed to hiring, retaining and promoting executive women," stated Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media and CEO of NAFE. "They represent a cross-section of companies that go way beyond lip service in helping succeed. Almost 7-out-of-10 companies require their managers to receive training on how to hire, advance or manage women. Manager accountability is the main ingredient for success."

According to NAFE, women represent 53% of the employees at these companies, on average. Women make up 23% of the board of directors at the NAFE Top 50, versus 16% across the boards of companies in the the Fortune 500. In addition, women make up 22% of the executive level at companies in the NAFE Top 50, versus 14% across Fortune 500 companies.

For an executive summary of the survey, click here.

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Lowe’s remedy for impulse sales

BY Mike Troy

Time is money for busy professionals and weekend warriors who frequent Lowe’s stores and can’t afford to put a project on hold because of an upset stomach, minor cut or allergy outbreak. To capitalize on this demand and drive impulse sales at checkout at this store in Tampa, Fla., across the street from CVS, the home improvement chain offers a convenient assortment of 13 popular health-and-wellness brands to treat common ailments so shoppers can avoid an extra stop at the drug store and get back to work.

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PriceGrabber: Most consumers will show love by spending less than $100 on Valentine’s Day gifts

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Many Valentine’s Day shoppers are sticking to a budget this year with 68% of consumers spending less than $100 on gifts, according to a new PriceGrabber survey.

The latest survey, which polled more than 790 consumers, found that 56% plan to spend the same amount as in 2011, 20% will spend more that last year, another 20% will spend less than they did in the year-ago period and 4% will not purchase a gift this year. When it comes to what Valentine’s Day items that would be purchased, 35% said they would purchase a greeting card, followed by an evening out, candy, flowers, themed gifts, clothing, jewelry and electronics.

When it comes to where gifts will be purchased, 54% of consumers indicated that they will buy gifts in a brick-and-mortar store, while 34% will shop online, 2% will shop using a mobile phone, and 1% will shop using an electronic tablet.

Meanwhile, savings is on the mind of 42% of shoppers, who said they plan to use a daily deal site to shop for a gift.

"PriceGrabber anticipates that shoppers will spend about the same amount on Valentine’s Day this year as they did in 2011," PriceGrabber general manager Graham Jones said. "Valentine’s Day is a very consistent holiday that presents an opportunity for consumers to show affection for a loved one on a more reasonably priced scale than during the holiday season, and we expect shoppers to take full advantage of discounts that will be available online, in brick-and-mortar stores and via a mobile device."

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