NAFE Top Companies for Women Executives – Top 10

General Mills did it again! We’re honored to make NAFE- National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) Top Companies for Women Executives for the 10th year in a row!


The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), one of the country’s largest associations for women professionals and business owners, provides resources—through education, networking, and public advocacy—to empower its members to achieve both career and personal success. NAFE is a division of Working Mother Media.

The 2013 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 also tracks how many employees have access to programs and policies that promote the advancement of women and how many employees take advantage of those programs and policies. The application focuses on how companies train managers to help women advance and how those managers are held accountable for the advancement of female employees that they oversee.

We invite applications from for-profit companies that have at least 1,000 U.S. employees as well as two women on their boards of directors. (Nonprofit companies are welcome to apply for a separate list; click for the 2013 NAFE Top 10 Nonprofits.) The 2013 company profiles are culled from submitted applications and reflect 2011 data.


Seeking TOP TALENT! December HOT jobs

1. Sr Manager – Global Health & Wellness (Minneapolis)

2. Manufacturing Supervisor (Martel, OH)

3. Digital Marketing Planner  – Box Tops (Minneapolis)

4. Controls Engineer  (New Albany, IN)

5. Digital & Community Management Planner (Minneapolis)

6. Controls Engineer (Methuen, MA)

General Mills gains global accolades for workplace

This is an exciting day as General Mills receives a new honor, being named to the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list.

This award comes, in part, as a result of the company earnings spots on “Great Place to Work” lists in Canada, France, Greece, the United Kingdom and the U.S. 

There are many factors that contribute to winning a “Great Place to Work” award but, without question, the men and women of General Mills are what make this company a great place to work. 

I travel around the country and all over the world for my job. We now employ 39,000 people in over 100 countries.

Last week I visited two General Mills locations – a manufacturing plant in the U.S. and our General Mills France office. What struck me at week’s end was the enthusiasm and expertise of the employees we met in each location.

As we grow globally, we realize the company is getting more complex. To maintain a commonality at the nucleus of the company, we recently updated our core values and launched them globally, translating the values into multiple languages and encouraging employees to bring the values to life. 

At the heart of these five core values is my favorite, which is: “we do the right thing, all the time.”  We have always had high integrity as a core value, but the restatement into these words has resonated with our employees all around the globe. 

This value has generated the most excitement and, in the words of many, the most pride in the company.

It is exciting to win this award, and to have it be a direct result of gaining Great Place to Work recognition in five separate countries. 

General Mills truly is a great place to work, and our people are the best in the business.

Mike Davis

Mike Davis is the senior vice president of global human resources at General Mills. He oversees all human resource functions for the company and began his career at General Mills in 1996.

Life at General Mills – Discovering the leader within

Each year, General Mills hosts an Asian Leadership Conference where members of two employee networks across the U.S. – Asian Heritage Network (AHN) and South Asian American Employee Network – have a chance to participate in workshops, listen to speakers, and network with peers and company executives in Minneapolis.

This year’s Leadership Conference kicked off with a keynote speech from a former Proctor & Gamble executive, followed by a panel Q&A with Asian leaders from local companies such as Medtronic and Target. It ended with a workshop led by a performance consulting firm.

The following day, the Sales function spent the morning volunteering with HopeKids Minnesota, a local organization that works with children facing a life-threatening illness.

What Am I Getting Out Of This?

Pulling yourself away from your desk and duties and inbox for two consecutive days is difficult, so these types of events are always challenged with a level of expectations.

After each event, we tend to turn to one another and quickly pass judgment and say, “That was interesting, that was boring, etc …” But if we can take a step back, we realize these conferences are not just about the content, but also about the context.

The Context

Working for General Mills provides unbridled access to personal development resources, with training on many things.

I can’t, however, always experience these in a room surrounded by people who share my culture. That is what makes these diversity events meaningful – the context, rather than the content.

It’s like sightseeing on a cruise, we don’t all see the same thing, but we we’re all on the same boat.

For example, during the Q&A panel this year, Ashok, a manager at Target, was asked how being Asian has impacted his career. He replied that having a name that’s difficult to pronounce has been a huge positive for him.

This got a roar of laughter from the crowd as everyone recounted a time their name was butchered.

He went on to explain that as Asians living in Minnesota, we often have unique stories that capture the interest of our coworkers, whether it’s the origin of your name, or the oddities of your cuisine.

I thought that was such a great point given how common it is at work to simply try and relate to your peers. Wouldn’t a conversation be just as interesting if they weren’t familiar with something I said, but were curious enough to learn and vice versa? Would I have come to this conclusion in a different setting?

Also, the context of the audience reflects the complexity of Asian leadership at General Mills. It was obvious that the majority of the network members are fairly young in both age and years in the company. Conferences like these try to get after such issues, and the consistent focus reminds us it’s one that deserves not just the company’s focus, but our individual focus as well.

We ask questions like, what am I doing to be seen as a leader? What’s the company doing to encourage Asian leadership?

When we’re firing off emails, jumping from meeting to meeting, and returning phone calls these aren’t questions we ever have time to reflect upon. But a conference allows us to do just that. And, we do it together.

Worth It

So for me, yes, attending this year’s conference was certainly worth it. The content reminded me of and reinforced the tools we have for personal development.

But, more importantly, the context allowed me to experience these tools in a much more meaningful way, a way that makes me proud of our company’s commitment to diversity.

Written by Eric Le, Business Planning Manager

Eric Le is a business planning manager for General Mills, based in Minneapolis, Minn. He is a member of the Trade Pricing & Analytics team within the Consumer Food Sales Division. He began his career at General Mills in 2007.

Eric Le

Gen Y – Best Cities to Launch a Career

Minneapolis is the third best city in the U.S. for young adults to launch a career, according to salary data and other factors ranked by  Minneapolis was behind only Seattle and Houston in the rankings, which generated a score based on median annual earnings, the wage change over time, commute time and the number of Gen Y employees, defined as 19 to 29-years-olds.  The median pay in Minneapolis for Gen Y employees is $42,800 – about $3,000 more than the national average. The city also had a 3.3 percent increase in earnings for full-time, private-sector employees between 2009 and 2012 – 0.8 percent higher than the national average of 2.5 percent.  Fridley’s Medtronic ranks No. 3 overall in PayScale’s ranking of top Gen Y employers, which takes into account factors like average salary, the percentage of Gen Y employees and job satisfaction.  PayScale started with a sample of 500,000 Gen Y workers, with subsets of 75,000 workers for some of the survey data. The survey was conducted between July 2011 and July 2012.

See the full list, statistics and methodology at

  1. Seattle
  2. Houston
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Boston
  6. Dallas
  7. New York
  8. Tampa
  9. Philadelphia (tie)
  10. San Francisco (tie)
  11. Chicago
  12. San Diego
  13. St. Louis
  14. Baltimore
  15. Detroit