By Innovative Thought Researcher Hope Rogers

While continuing my research on retention of women among businesses, a few companies have shown worthy of a gold star in 2015. It is in my belief that others can understand why these companies are progressing more quickly than the rest of corporate America and then try to emulate what they are doing. According to a Forbes article the top ten companies for women to advance in their career are: Abbott, Ernst & Young, General Mills, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Marriott, MassMutual Finance Group, Procter & Gamble, and State Farm.

Why are these companies excelling at a much faster rate to advance women into higher leadership positions? It may sound simple, but they make it a priority. They actively reach out for sponsorship, value their mentoring programs, set goals, and have hiring initiatives. Managers take responsibility and are held accountable that employees’ use these programs and training opportunities.

Taking a closer look at a company that may be considered the best of the best in advancing women is IBM. IBM is the only company out of the top 10 to have a woman CEO. Out of a pool of 30% of women employees worldwide 29% are senior managers and 26% are executives. IBM excels in these numbers because they actively put forth an effort to retain women and to advance them both in and out of their company. Through a program called reconnections initiative, IBM reaches out to women executives even after they have left to continue to offer education and networking in hopes of a return to the company.

Another company worth noting that advances women to higher positions is Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson has grown to 50 chapters nationwide that all actively works to advance women within J&J through a program called Women’s Leadership Initiative. As of 2013, they created the Executive Forum, which takes the top 100 female leaders who focus on growing their own careers as well as sponsoring junior women and women who are recently hired. It all comes back to how effectively networking is done within the company. You can see the dividends in the numbers. Nearly half of their employees are women and of those 40% are senior managers while 3 sit on the 13-member board.

For more information on the top 10 companies check out this Great Companies for Women

For more information how to Fostering Women’s Leaders

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