The National Association for Female Executives announced its “Top Companies for Executive Women for 2014,”  and the list includes eight insurance companies, including Aetna, Allstate Insurance, Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, State Farm, Principal Financial Group, Prudential Financial and Northern Trust.

The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) said each organization completed a detailed application, covering both internal and external programs and activities that benefit women. The 2014 application included the following sections: Company Profile, Workforce Profile, Women’s Issues and Advancement, and Company Culture and Work Life Programs. Winning companies were selected from a pool of self-selected applicant companies and ranked on the data provided in the applications. Ten nonprofit companies were also chosen as winners in a separate list.

NAFE, a division of Working Mother Media, added that the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women recognizes American corporations that have moved women into top executive positions and created a culture that identifies, promotes and nurtures successful women.

The application identifies companies where women have significant clout, making decisions that affect their companies’ futures and bottom lines. NAFE looks for women who lead businesses, set policy and have profit-and-loss responsibility. The association also tracks what companies are doing to help advance women and the impact of their programs.

NAFE said that, for consideration, a company must have a minimum of two women on its board of directors. The company must be a public or private for-profit company, and must have a minimum of 1,000 employees. And, divisions of companies and companies in the business of providing work life services or consulting, or consulting and government agencies, are not eligible to apply.

The 2014 NAFE “Top 50 Companies for Executive Women” continues to increase the numbers of women in their top ranks, and has made positive program and policy changes, NAFE said. The percentage of board seats occupied by women at the NAFE Top 50 increased for the second consecutive year to 27 percent for 2014, from 26 percent in 2013 and 23 percent in 2012.

NAFE added that female CEO representation continues to hold steady at 10 percent of the NAFE Top 50. Twenty-eight percent of executive officers at the NAFE Top 50 are women, up from 25 percent last year and 22 percent in 2012. At the NAFE Top 50, women continue to make up 22 percent of profit-and-loss corporate executives. One quarter of the executives who run billion-dollar divisions at the NAFE Top 50 are women, up from 23 percent in 2012.

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