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Three N.J. companies among the top companies for executive women

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Denise Morrison, left, and Maggie Wilderotter -- business women.
Denise Morrison, left, and Maggie Wilderotter -- business women. - (Aaron Houston / NJBIZ)

Three New Jersey companies made it into the lists of the 2014 top companies for executive women. The lists were produced by the National Association of Female Executives and was featured in the February/March edition of Working Mother magazine.

Newark-based Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey ranked in the top 10 non-profit companies list, while New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson and Newark-based Prudential Financial made the top 50 for-profit companies.

NAFE selected the companies based on the companies submitting an application that included more than 200 questions covering both internal and external programs and activities that benefit women.

According to NAFE, in order to be eligible to be considered for the top 10 non-profit and 50 for-profit companies, a company must have a minimum of two women on their board of directors, must be a public or private for-profit company and must have a minimum of 1,000 employees.

"Many women working at Horizon have become integral leaders of the company and we value their achievements and the perspective they bring to our business," said Alison Banks Moore, chief diversity officer for HBCBS.

HBCBS is featured as a top non-profit according to the rankings because the company helps talented people reach new heights and has a six-month management development program that ensures that high-performing senior managers elevate their capabilities and prepare for executive roles, reported Working Mother magazine.

"It allowed me to learn more about myself as a leader," said Evonne Ligeiro, a data migration delivery manager.

When women reach the director level at HBCBS, they are exposed to executive coaching and are allowed to take courses on everything from corporate finances to leading virtual teams, the magazine said.

Johnson & Johnson was distinguished as a top company because in September 2013, Lynn Pendergrass was named the worldwide chairman of its consumer business segment, joining two other women in senior management: Sandra E. Peterson, group worldwide chairman, and Karen A. Licitra, worldwide chairman, global medical solutions group. J&J ranked also because powerful female executives are constantly emerging from Smith College development programs, dedicated leadership initiatives, and counsels and conferences that are supporting the rise of multicultural women, the magazine determined.

Prudential Financial firm made the cut because it holds more than 30 professional development events for female employees, who also benefit from six business resource groups and 11 distinct women's networks, the magazine said. Also, in a 2013 employee survey, 85 percent of respondents said their supervisors gave them the freedom to deal with important work life concerns. Flexible schedules at Prudential and subsidized backup care helps women who tend to their children, relatives and dependents with special needs.

Among the results, NAFE found that 28 percent of the executive officers are women, up from 25 percent last year and 22 percent in 2012.

The findings also showed that the percentage of board seats occupied by women increased for the second consecutive year, to 27 percent for 2014 from 36 percent last year and 23 percent in 2012. CEO representation continued to hold steady at 10 percent.

The representation of women employees overall in the top 50 companies is holding steady at 51 percent, while the percentage of women making up the senior manager (35 percent) and executive (28 percent) positions continues to increase year-by-year, NAFE said.

The entire executive summary can be found here, which contains aggregated data about the 2014 NAFE top 50 companies.

Click here for a chart showing data on each of the 2014 NAFE top 50.

Click here for an infographic, women to the top.

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Emily Bader

Emily Bader

Emily Bader is the copy and web editor at NJBIZ. She is a Brielle, N.J. native and a Rutgers University alum. You can contact her at emilyb@njbiz.com or @emilybader on Twitter.

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