VCU Health System Named to Top 50 Companies for Executive Women

The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has been named to the NAFE Top 50 Companies and 10 Nonprofits for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE).  

This is the fourth time the VCUHS has been recognized by NAFE. The list recognizes organizations with policies and practices that encourage women’s advancement and whose numbers at the highest levels of leadership demonstrate that commitment.

"Our commitment to advancing women permeates our culture,” said Maria Curran, VCU Health System vice president for Human Resources and Family Care. “We are constantly assessing our policies, procedures, benefits, programs and offerings to make them more responsive to our employees' needs, including onsite child care and adult care, education assistance and leadership training.”

The recognition stems from the VCU Health System’s commitment to the advancement of women with training and educational programs that nurture women into leadership roles.

According to NAFE, to be declared a winner, companies must have at least two women on the board and track gender in profit and loss jobs, something many have not done before.

"This year, after an extensive national search, we hired a new Chief Nursing Officer – Deborah T. Zimmermann, proving that we provide significant advancement opportunities in an environment where women feel valued and respected,” said Curran.

“Dr. Sheldon Retchin, our CEO mandates that women are represented on all major governing board committees and search committees, which helps us keep the views and insights of women at the forefront of key policy matters and decisions,” Curran said.

In addition to assessing corporate programs and policies dedicated to advancing women, NAFE measured results, examining the number of women in each company overall, in senior management, and on its board of directors.

“VCUHS offers an environment where women can balance career and family, including onsite childcare, elder care, and backup sick child care, despite being a nonprofit with limited resources. Women in clinical and nonclinical areas can succeed at this NAFE Top Nonprofit," says Dr. Betty Spence, NAFE president.

NAFE will recognize honorees at a luncheon in New York on March 25.

Some of the VCU Health System’s other recent recognitions include Working Mother Magazine’s “100 Best Companies;” Employer of Choice by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce; the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility; and the 2008 Companies That Care Honor Roll.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see