These Are the Supposedly the Best Companies for Female EmployeesS

A women's group has just released its annual list of the best places to work, to help working women identify companies where they can grow and feel welcome.

The list is courtesy of the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE),a division of Working Mother magazine's parent company Working Mother Media. NAFE studies corporations to determine which ones are the best places for women to work and move ahead:

The 2014 National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) Top Companies for Executive Women application includes more than 200 questions on female representation at all levels, but especially the corporate officer and profit-and-loss leadership ranks. The application tracks how many employees have access to programs and policies that promote the advancement of women and how many employees take advantage of them. The application also examines how companies train managers to help women advance and how managers are held accountable for the advancement of female employees they oversee.

NAFE compiles a top ten list, although technically they are not ranked 1-10. So, what are some of these awesomely spectacular lady-friendly companies? IBM takes a big part of the spotlight, since it's the only company in the top ten with a female CEO, Virginia Rometty. According to Forbes, the computer giant "has an impressive share of female senior managers, 26%, and 22% of its executives are women....Those are strong numbers, given that 30% of its 433,000 employees are women."

But nooooooo, I don't want to work with boring computers, you're saying to yourself right now. OK, fine. Check out Marriott, which NAFE also put in the top ten. At the hotel chain's headquarters, at least nine women head up departments worth more than $100 million. Women make up 55 percent of Marriott's almost 100,000 employees and a majority of the managerial staff are women. Not too shabby, ladies!

Still, we have a long way to go, baby.

Only 4.6% of the 1,000 largest U.S. companies now have female CEOs, compared to 4% last year. "The number of women in CEO positions isn't exactly inching up," notes NAFE president Betty Spence. "It's going up by millimeters." But at least it's headed in the right direction, she adds.

The 50 companies on NAFE's list are all places where women are progressing more quickly than in the rest of corporate America. The leadership at these firms has decided to make women's advancement a priority, through sponsorship and mentoring programs, goal-setting and hiring initiatives.

Spence said their goal is to help women out when it comes to looking for a new employer. "I don't believe you should be working at a company where you're going to be beating your head against a wall," she told Forbes.

"Ten percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have no women on their boards," she said. "Those are Neanderthal companies. When you've got so many other things to deal with in your life, why should you have to deal with Neanderthals?"

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