Companies are finding that if they fully engage women, in and out of the workplace, they realize a competitive advantage. Women make up the majority of the general population (consumers), and by 2008, it is forecasted that women will comprise almost half of the labor force (producers). To attract female consumers, businesses are seeking female employees who provide the insight and perspective to reach and serve a complicated marketplace. Some of Denver's top companies are establishing themselves as true market leaders by adopting this strategy.
HealthONE operates seven hospitals, four surgery centers, and 54 clinics in the greater Denver area. According to HealthONE's president and CEO Jeff Dorsey, women play an important role in HealthONE's success. Women occupy many of the company's high-level management positions.
"We believe it is important for our company to recruit the very best people we can in all positions. There are some great women who have come up through our ranks," commented Dorsey. "Our environment is fast-paced and hectic-communication is critical. There is no room for gender barriers."
CH2M Hill employs 10,000 people worldwide as a global project deliverer-designing, building, and operating infrastructures. Joan Miller, Vice President Communications Group of CH2M Hill, is an active advocate of professional women. She believes that her company is successful because of its highly talented and diverse employee pool.
"Diversity in the thought process when dealing with infrastructures is so important. We understand that the intellectual property from a female perspective is very valuable, especially when so many of our customers are women," stated Miller. "Our people are our most valuable asset and having a strong expert group to sell our clients is what makes us a prominent industry leader."
HealthONE has a growing number of women in its hospitals' senior most positions, while 20 percent of CH2M Hill's leadership team is female. Nationally, compensation for corporate women executives continues to lag. The wage gap persists, with women earning 77 percent of what men in similar positions make. (1) Unfortunately, this gap follows women as they fight their way up the corporate ladder. Women comprise only 17 percent of the top 125 earners in the very best female-oriented companies. (2) While money is not the primary motivator for women, unequal pay is a primary disincentive. Companies have difficulty holding onto talented women...