WellPoint Named to NAFE Top 50 Companies for Executive Women

Winners Far Outpace Fortune 500 in Advancement of Women

INDIANAPOLIS, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc., (NYSE: WLP) 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. Erin Hoeflinger, WellPoint's Ohio plan president, accepted the award at the NAFE awards ceremony in New York City on March 30.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110413/DE82792 )

Lori Beer, executive vice president of WellPoint's Enterprise Business Services division, sees mentoring as a key factor for women in building their careers. "I'm a firm believer in sharing your experiences and knowledge with others," said Ms. Beer. "I have had strong mentors who helped shape my professional development during the past 20 years. I try to do what I can so other women can say the same about me."

WellPoint maintains a successful track record in advancing women leaders. With 76.7 percent female associates (and approximately a third of female corporate executives), WellPoint continues to build on its reputation as an organization where professional women can lead successful careers and reach the highest levels of management. WellPoint's initiatives to promote gender equality in the workplace include a robust succession planning program and an Executive Excellence accelerated executive leadership development program, of which approximately one third of participants are women. In addition, the Women of WellPoint (WOW) associate resource group focuses on identifying and removing barriers for the advancement of women within WellPoint.

According to Linda Jimenez, Chief Diversity Officer & Staff VP ― Diversity and Inclusion for WellPoint, "Through the efforts of programs such as WOW, the company helps women succeed ― and thrive ― in today's corporate culture. Never settling, embracing change and seeking new experiences ― these are the qualities of WellPoint's most successful women leaders."

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. "At WellPoint, women have clear opportunities to succeed. With Angela Braly at the top and women as 38% of the board, women are moving into senior operating positions in increasing numbers," says Dr. Betty Spence, NAFE president. "Transparency in succession planning helps level the playing field, and NAFE is proud to have WellPoint as a Top Company."

Methodology: The 2011 NAFE Top Companies application includes 225 questions on such topics as female representation, hiring, attrition and promotion rates; access and usage of key retention and advancement programs such as mentoring, executive coaching, networking and sponsorship; company culture; and manager training and accountability. The application draws particular attention to the number of women at the highest ranks and those with profit-and-loss responsibility. 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. NAFE.com 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 Bonnier Corp.

Bonnier Corp. (www.bonniercorp.com) is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America and is the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences, through 50 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events. Bonnier Corp. is the U.S. division of the Bonnier Group (www.bonnier.com), a 200-year-old, family-owned media group based in Sweden with business operations in 25 countries.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation's largest health benefits company in terms of medical enrollment, with more than 33 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 69 million individuals served through all subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.