Why we founded the Top 50 list in 2006 featuring Top Employers for Women

Home    Insight    Insight

TOP 50 Employers for Women list (2006 - 2020)

TOP 50 Employers for Women list (2006 - 2020)

 April 13, 2016

The TOP 50 Employers for Women list provides a useful framework and guide for women seeking to research and compare company performance when it comes to supporting women's careers. And while TOP 50 entrants have varied annually since we founded the list back in 2006, one constant has been the high level of interest in the list from female candidates and industry. 

2006 was a great time for us to launch the first TOP 50 list 

The reason we founded the UK's TOP 50 list way back in 2006 was to provide an insightful source of reference for female candidates - whether interns, apprentices, graduates, experienced professionals, women returners or senior executives. Operating as the world's first company comparison website for female candidates - and providing SAAS gender capital benchmarking software, we identified the need for a robust, reliable and reputable source of data-driven information to guide and inform women's career choices. The list was the first of its kind in the UK and has grown from strength to strength for well over a decade. Each year, we conducted robust assessment of the practices of private and public sector organisations to identify and celebrate best practice for recruiting and advancing women. 

Back in 2006, the social media landscape was minimal, and there were few female-focused career websites and communities like Where Women Work. Fast forward many years, and today the female recruitment marketing arena is very different. Furthermore, many exciting top employer lists now exist worldwide and there continues to be a constant focus on progressive employers.

167 winners celebrated in TOP 50 lists since inception in 2006

Today, 167 different organisations have been celebrated for their support for women in the workplace via the TOP 50 list. Right from the start, we always ran the list alphabetically, rather than as a ranked order list, because different organisations appeal to women for varied reasons. How could we possibly claim that one organisation is best for all women? The list still continues today to be a non-ranked, alphabetical employers list.

Review annual TOP 50 lists and publications

167 groups awarded in TOP 50 lists to date (2006 - 2020)

  • Accenture
  • Addleshaw Goddard
  • Allen & Overy
  • American Express
  • Arup
  • Asda
  • Ashurst LLP
  • AstraZeneca
  • Atkins
  • Atos IT Services UK Limited
  • Aviva plc
  • B&Q
  • BAE Systems
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Bank of New York Mellon
  • Barclays
  • Barclays Wealth
  • Baringa Partners
  • BBC
  • BDO Stoy Hayward
  • Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • BP
  • Brainlabs
  • Bramall Construction
  • Brent Council
  • Britannia Building Society
  • British Army
  • BT plc
  • Canon
  • Capco
  • Capgemini UK
  • Carillion
  • Centrica
  • Charlton House Catering Services
  • Cisco
  • Citi
  • Clifford Chance
  • CMS
  • Co-operative Group
  • Costain Group Plc
  • Credit Suisse
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Danone
  • Dell
  • Deloitte
  • Department of Communities & Local Government
  • Department for Work & Pensions
  • Deutsche Bank
  • DHL
  • Diageo
  • Driving Standards Agency
  • DWF Law LLP
  • EDF Energy
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Environment Agency
  • Eversheds Sutherland LLP
  • Everything Everywhere
  • EY
  • Fidelity International
  • Financial Conduct Authority
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Legal
  • Friends Provident
  • Fujitsu Services Limited
  • GE
  • GE Capital
  • Genesis Housing Association
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Hachette
  • Herbert Smith
  • Hewlett Packard
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Home Office
  • HSBC
  • Humberside Fire & Rescue Service
  • IBM
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • ITV plc
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
  • KPMG
  • Lehman Brothers
  • Leicestershire Constabulary
  • Lincolnshire Co-operative
  • Linklaters
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Mars
  • McDonald's Restaurants
  • McGraw-Hill Companies
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Mercer 
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Metropolitan Housing
  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Michael Page Group
  • Microsoft
  • MI5
  • MI6
  • Morgan Stanley International
  • National Assembly for Wales
  • National Australia Group Europe
  • National Grid
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest Group
  • Nomura
  • Nortel
  • Northbrook Technology
  • Northern Trust
  • Northumbria Police
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Nottinghamshire Police
  • Obelisk Support Legal
  • Ofcom
  • Olswang
  • Olympic Delivery Authority
  • PA Consulting
  • Page Group
  • Pearson
  • PepsiCo
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Post Office
  • Premier Farnell
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Prudential
  • PWC
  • Queens University Belfast
  • Rolls Royce
  • Royal & SunAlliance
  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Royal Mail Group
  • Royal Navy 
  • RWE npower
  • Sainsbury's
  • Santander 
  • Schlumberger
  • Scottish Water
  • SCS Railways
  • Shell
  • Simmons & Simmons
  • Sky YK Limited
  • Sodexo UK & Ireland
  • Southbank Centre Arts Organisation
  • Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Standard Life Group
  • State Street
  • SThree
  • Surrey Police & Sussex Police 
  • TATA
  • Tesco
  • Thomson Reuters (& formerly Thomson Corporation)
  • Tideway
  • TSB Bank
  • Unilever
  • University of Sheffield
  • Vodafone
  • West Mercia Police
  • Whittington Hospital NHS Trust
  • Willmot Dixon
  • Zibrant

History of the TOP 50 Employers for Women list

The Times TOP 50 Employers for Women list features top employers in the UK who actively work to recruit, retain, develop and progress female talent in exciting and innovative ways. When we first chose and approached The Times back in 2005 and pitched our "TOP 50" idea and invited them to be our sole media partner, The Times held very strong resistance and scepticism about supporting a "female-only" orientated list. But as the years passed and we delivered engaging content and impressive advertising sales each year for the group, clear interest grew in our TOP 50 initiative and The Times TOP 50 list grew not just to be an excellent source of reference, but a prestigious annual award honouring and recognising progressive employers. Each year, we invited and benchmarked entries from across industry - and successful case studies were published in an annual TOP 50 supplement in collaboration with The Times newspaper. We also held an annual event to honour TOP 50 list entrants and to share best practice. 

We're proud to work with prime employers for women

The TOP 50 list serves as an insightful reference point for female candidates - and we're proud to work with many of these leading companies year-after-year. Our women's equality marketing company, Aurora Ventures, was founded back in 2000 and we work with corporations, governments and agencies across the world. Learn more about us here.


Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

Share this page:

Join our women's careers community