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  • The San Juan Daily Star

23 firms earn Women Certified Company recognition


Frances Ríos, founder & CEO of Women Who Lead

By The Star Staff


Twenty-three local and international companies have been awarded the Women Certified Company (WCC) recognition for their achievements in the inclusion of women and for attracting, retaining and promoting them to leadership positions, said Frances Ríos, founder and CEO of Women Who Lead.


At a time when there are problems in Puerto Rico and globally due to a lack of talent, the 23 WCC companies have discovered a formula to position themselves as companies preferred by women. They also stand out from the competition regarding female talent, Ríos said.


“Ninety-five percent of the women who work for WCC-certified companies feel happy about their commitment to helping their companies grow,” said Ríos, creator of the WCC and the first workplace survey of women in Puerto Rico. “It is fascinating because our most recent survey revealed that in the rest of the private sector, only 53% reach that level of commitment and in the government, only 49%.”


Ríos stressed that companies in the private sector and the government need to adjust immediately to adapt their organizations to the aspirations and needs of women. Otherwise, they will not have the capacity to address the problem of the lack of talent.


“For Puerto Rico’s economy to grow, it will be key for the Department of Economic Development and Commerce to finally include women at the table when economic reforms are created to have representation of 50% of the country’s population,” she said. “In the same way, the private sector is going to have to get its act together when it comes to achieving the results of the WCC companies.”


The combined analysis of WCC companies, and women working in the government and private sectors, showed huge differences on issues such as pay equity, sexual harassment, development and flexibility.


“According to reports from the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] the industries most affected by the issue of sexual harassment are restaurants, manufacturing and retail sales,” Ríos pointed out. “But in the case of the W Certified, we saw examples of companies in these industries whose results are outstanding, as was the case with Edwards Lifesciences, Sartorius, and Walmart.”


Ríos noted that this year the five most outstanding W Certified companies were: Edwards Lifesciences, Sartorius, Basf, Manpower and Larcoop. Others that have also achieved certification are L’Oréal, Walmart, Hotel Fairmont-El San Juan, Retail Group, Alivia, AIG, Lopito Ileana & Howie, El Vocero, Baxter, Boston Scientific, Pepsico, Thermo Fisher, Aireko, Abbvie, Becton Dickinson, Motor Ambar, Serrallés and Saldaña, Carvajal & Velez-Rivé.


To achieve certification, companies must have more than 10 employees, have women who report directly to the presidency, have their talent recognized for their proactive actions concerning the work environment and the presidency’s commitment to the issue, offer pay equity, have a community program that supports women, offer training and have succession plans.

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