Three examples of successful companies with strong female leadership.
By Selena Maranjian
updated 2/16/2011 4:59:42 AM ET 2011-02-16T09:59:42
Research suggests that companies with prominent female leadership produce strong financial performance. That makes diversity an important criterion when sizing up potential investments. This year's awards from Catalyst, an organization that studies women in leadership, honored three promising prospects: McDonald's, Kaiser Permanente, and Time Warner.
Big progress Women occupied half of the senior executive positions at health care's Kaiser Permanente by 2009; racially or ethnically diverse women held 18% of them. Thanks to a companywide diversity initiative, its board of directors went from 21% women in 2001 to 36% women in 2009. That's quite an accomplishment, especially in an industry with atypically high levels of women in charge. Aetna's board is 29% female, while UnitedHealth's is 22%, versus the national average of 15.7%.