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NAFE Names Bon Secours Richmond to its List of Top Companies for Executive Women

Local health system is ranked the No. 1 nonprofit

RICHMOND, Va. (March 15, 2011) – The Bon Secours Richmond Health System ( has been named to the 2011 NAFE Top 50 Companies and 10 Nonprofits for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE). The list recognizes organizations whose policies and practices encourage women’s advancement and whose numbers at the highest levels of leadership demonstrate that commitment. This year, Bon Secours Richmond ranked No. 1 for Top Nonprofits.

“Almost 200 years ago, a group of 12 women in Paris came together and formed the foundation of the Bon Secours ministry by caring for the sick and dying in their homes. In 1881, that ministry came to the United States and has grown into the multi-state network of Bon Secours health systems today,” said Bon Secours Virginia Chief Executive Officer Peter J. Bernard. “This award honors the spirit of those pioneering women and exemplifies the talents and achievements of our female leaders today who are preserving our tradition and contributing to the future success of our health system and our mission here in Richmond.

This year marks an important milestone. At the 2011 NAFE Top Companies, women executives run 23 percent of operations that generate more than $1 billion in revenue. “Women have long struggled to reach the highest ranks in a male-dominated business environment, but with the growing profitability of companies with women in the top ranks, that is changing,” said Dr. Betty Spence, NAFE president. “Today, employers reward the skills that women bring and demand them of men, as well.”

Bon Secours Richmond’s initiatives to promote gender equality in the workplace include a strong commitment and usage of programs encouraging the advancement of women. Said Teresa Crist, Radiation Oncology Director, Bon Secours Cancer Institute, “I have always received the resources I needed to get to the next level. Bon Secours not only encourages growth, but they give you the tools to reach it.”

Bon Secours Richmond consistently upholds high numbers of female hires and attrition as nearly eighty-five percent of the organization’s more than 7,200 employees and 14 of its nearly 35 corporate executives are women. This is the sixth consecutive year Bon Secours Richmond has been named a NAFE Top Company.

“Bon Secours Health System offers exceptional opportunities for women in its management ranks. NAFE is confident in recommending them as one of the best places for women to work," Spence said.

NAFE will honor each of the Top Companies at a gala luncheon in New York City on March 30. Prior to the luncheon, senior women executives who have profit and loss responsibilities at the NAFE Top Companies will meet at the closed door NAFE Roundtable to discuss critical business issues. Representing Bon Secours in the Roundtable discussion will be Toni R. Ardabell, Chief Executive Officer of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.

The 2011 NAFE Top Companies application includes 225 questions on such topics such as:

  • female representation, hiring, attrition and promotion rates
  • access and usage of key retention and advancement programs
  • company culture, and manager training and accountability.

To be considered for the NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women, companies must have a minimum of two women on their board of directors as well as at least 500 employees in the U.S.

About NAFE
The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), founded in 1972, serves 20,000 members nationwide with networking, tools and solutions to strengthen and grow their careers and businesses. NAFE magazine publishes the annual Top Companies issue and the annual Women of Excellence issue. provides up-to-date information, community for women in business and access to member benefits. NAFE is a division of Working Mother Media and Bonnier Corporation.

About Bon Secours Virginia in Richmond
Bon Secours Richmond is part of Bon Secours Virginia (BSV), the fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, which is comprised of Bon Secours Richmond and Bon Secours Hampton Roads. Bon Secours Virginia includes seven award-winning hospitals: four in Richmond (St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center) and three in Hampton Roads. Bon Secours brings together a network of hospitals, primary care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities to provide quality health care services to thousands of Virginians. The not-for-profit Catholic health system employs more than 11,000 people, 7,200 in Richmond and 4,000 in Hampton Roads. Bon Secours Virginia hospitals offer a full-range of services including cardiac, women’s, children’s, orthopaedics, oncology, neurosciences and surgery.

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