Principal a top company for executive women

For the 17th time, Principal Financial Group® is named one of the Top Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE). Principal is a member of the NAFE Top Companies Hall of Fame, recognized alongside nine other companies for their contributions and continued commitment to women’s leadership.

NAFE aims to recognize American corporations where women have significant clout to make the decisions that affect their company’s future and its bottom line. The NAFE Top 70 Companies, released today, is featured in the April/May issue of Working Mother. The full list of this year’s winners is listed on

“At Principal we believe in developing outstanding female leaders and are extremely proud to receive NAFE’s prestigious recognition for 17 consecutive years. This represents another step forward for Principal as we continue to grow our already strong roster of female senior leaders and board members,” said Dan Houston, chairman, president and CEO of Principal. “Providing our female workers, and all employees, with the right development and leadership opportunities is critical to building a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equality at Principal.”  

Principal leads initiatives that attract, retain, and promote women and diverse employees, including the following highlights:

  • In 2016 Principal hired 455 women compared to 306 men.
  • Women outnumber men in management by more than 50.
  • Women comprise almost 42% of our executives.
  • Deanna Strable is Principal’s newly promoted CFO and executive vice president. She joins a very exclusive club of only 58 women CFOs serving at Fortune 500 companies, as of 2015.

These numbers are bolstered by robust leadership and development programs at Principal, including the Women in Leadership, Women in Technology Group, Women in Sales Program, Corporate Mentoring Program and a focus on succession planning.

“NAFE’s Top Companies shows us what progressive organizations are doing to ensure women’s advancement into executive positions. This year, noting increased enrollment and more companies with high scores, we decided to enlarge the list by 10,” said Subha V. Barry, senior vice president and managing director, Working Mother Media. Areas such as number of female CEOs and promotions at every level illustrate improvement. However, while there is increased CEO engagement in making sure women have the best chance to become leaders, we also note there has also been a dip in key indicators like top earners, which needs to be addressed.”

News Release Contact

Awards & Recognition

Hillary Gebert

About the Methodology

The 2018 NAFE Top Companies application includes some 200 questions on female representation at all levels, especially the corporate officer and profit-and-loss ranks. The vetting process includes tracking access and usage of programs and policies that promote the advancement of women as well as the training and accountability of managers in relation to the number of women who advance. In order to be eligible for the NAFE Top Companies survey, entrants must have a minimum of 1,000 employees, two women on the Board of Directors and be a public or private company. NAFE also separately names the Top 10 companies in the nonprofit sector.

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. Working Mother magazine publishes the annual NAFE Top Companies list. provides up-to-date information, a community for women in business, and access to member benefits. NAFE is a division of Working Mother Media, owned by the Bonnier Corporation.

About Principal®

Principal helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit us at

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