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EWNJ names top N.J. companies with women leaders

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Michellene Davis, president of Executive Women of New Jersey.
Michellene Davis, president of Executive Women of New Jersey. - ()

Executive Women of New Jersey, a statewide senior-level executive women’s organization committed to increasing the number of women in top corporate and board leadership, released Wednesday its biennial EWNJ “A Seat at the Table” Honor Roll, which consists of publicly traded New Jersey companies that have appointed three or more women to their corporate boards.

“We are proud to present this year’s list of companies that recognize the significant value that women bring to boards and senior corporate governance,” Michellene Davis, president of EWNJ, and executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer of RWJBarnabasHealth, said. “This list is an essential component of EWNJ’s work because it highlights firms that exemplify the impact of gender diversity on business success.

“There continues to be a false and damaging perception that efforts to improve diversity on boards are at odds with merit-based advancement.”

Barbara Kauffman, president-elect of EWNJ and chief operating officer of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, said that the organization’s research, in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, demonstrates how companies with three or more women on their boards can outperform their competitors by delivering better returns on equity, sales, and capital. 

“Our report is the centerpiece of our efforts to advance women’s corporate leadership because it allows us to quantify for the public and for companies how gender diversity on boards contributes to strong financial performance and fewer governance-related issues such as bribery, corruption, shareholder battles and fraud,” she said. “It also illustrates the significance of our work by raising awareness of the drastic underrepresentation of women in the boardroom and in the C-suite.”

The 22 companies on this year’s honor roll, based on the latest SEC Proxy Filings for the 99 NJ Russell 3000 companies, include past winners such as:

  • American Water Works Company Inc. in Voorhees;
  • Becton, Dickinson and Co. in Franklin Lakes;
  • Campbell Soup Co. in Camden;
  • CIT Group Inc. in Livingston;
  • Dun & Bradstreet Corp. in Short Hills;
  • Honeywell in Morris Plains;
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc. in Hoboken;
  • Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick;
  • Northfield Bancorp Inc. in Woodbridge;
  • Prudential Financial Inc. in Newark;
  • Quest Diagnostics Inc. in Madison;
  • Realogy Holdings Corp. in Madison;
  • South Jersey Industries in Folsom;
  • The Children’s Place Inc. in Secaucus;
  • The Vitamin Shoppe Inc. in Secaucus.

Newcomers to this year’s list include:

  • Ascena Retail Group Inc. in Mahwah;
  • Celgene Corp. in Summit;
  • Covanta Holding Corp. in Morristown;
  • Innophos Holdings Inc. in Cranbury;
  • Merck & Co. Inc. in Kenilworth;
  • Verisk Analytics Inc. in Jersey City;
  • Wyndham Worldwide Corp. in Parsippany.

Each company will be recognized at EWNJ’s “A Seat at the Table: Corporate Gender Diversity Awards” on October 30 at 7:30 a.m. at The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick. They also will be listed in EWNJ’s third biennial report on gender diversity in top corporate leadership and on boards in New Jersey’s publicly traded companies, which will exclusively be released at the breakfast.  

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