news & events

Bon Secours in Richmond Nationally Recognized for Advancing Women

Health system to receive NAFE Award for fifth consecutive year

RICHMOND, Va. (March 2, 2010) – The Bon Secours Virginia Health System in Richmond ( 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 fifth consecutive year that NAFE has recognized Bon Secours in its awards program, which honors organizations whose policies and practices encourage women’s advancement and whose numbers at the highest levels of leadership demonstrate that commitment. About eighty-five percent of Bon Secours’ more than 7,100 employees are women and 14 of its nearly 35 corporate executives are women.

Bon Secours is only one of 10 nonprofits in the country to receive this honor and was ranked at No. 5. NAFE will honor the Top Companies at a luncheon in New York on March 25. That morning, senior women executives from the NAFE Top Companies will meet at the closed-door NAFE roundtable to discuss critical business issues, including how to ensure an increase in women-run operations. Toni R. Ardabell, Chief Executive Officer of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, has been invited to participate in the roundtable event. She is one of Bon Secours newest executives, joining the health system in March 2009.

“The environment at Bon Secours is one where women are fully incorporated into the cellular level of the organization,” Ardabell said. “Perhaps this is due in part to the 12 Catholic sisters who began the health care ministry at Bon Scours about 200 years ago. There have been women executives at Bon Secours long before women were traditionally in executive roles. I am following a path they started and am honored to work for an organization where everyone is seamlessly welcomed and valued.”

NAFE’s list serves as an annual benchmark for Corporate America. The number of women responsible for running operations (profit-and-loss, or P&L positions) at the NAFE Top Companies has reached 26 percent, significantly more than the 11 percent at Fortune 500 companies as counted by Catalyst. At 13 of the NAFE Top Companies, women run a third or more of billion dollar-plus operations. When it comes to board membership, women at the NAFE Top Companies occupy 23 percent of seats, compared to the Fortune 500’s 15 percent.

To be declared a NAFE winner, companies must have at least two women on the board and track gender in P&L jobs.

In naming Bon Secours Virginia in Richmond as one of the nation’s leading supporters of women, NAFE evaluated the health system on its representation of women executives; diversity; professional advancement; and assisting not only female executives, but all employees, particularly in the development of work-life balance programs.

“At Bon Secours, executives report that being female doesn't enter their thinking because women are integral to the organization,“ says Dr. Betty Spence, NAFE president. "In such an environment, women fill the upper ranks and family-friendly is second-nature, offering a terrific place for women to work."

The NAFE award is among many prestigious recognitions the Bon Secours Virginia Health System in Richmond continues to receive from organizations that include Modern Heatlhcare, AARP, Alfred P. Sloan, Companies That Care, Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Wellness Councils of America and Working Mother magazine.

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 a 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 nearly 11,000 people, 7,000 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, surgery.

# # #

back to news listings

good sharing

twitter feed

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System