press release

Texaco Press Release - Women's Business Enterprise National Council Names "Sweet 16"

The following release was issued by The Womens Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2000

Washington, D.C., Oct. 2 - The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today named 16 companies as America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises (Top Corporations). This marks the second consecutive year for the Top Corporations list, which is based on WBENC's annual survey and analysis of corporate best practices in supplier diversity programs for women's business enterprises (WBEs). The following companies comprise WBENC's 2000 list:

AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP-NYSE) SBC COMMUNICATIONS (SBC-NYSE)
AT&T (T-NYSE) SHELL OIL COMPANY (Royal Dutch Company)
AVIS GROUP HOLDINGS, INC. (AVI-NYSE) TEXACO (TX-NYSE)
BANK OF AMERICA (BAC-NYSE) TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (TXN-NYSE)
CINERGY (CIN-NYSE) THE CHASE MANHATTAN BANK (CMB-NYSE)
JC PENNEY (JCP-NYSE) TXU (TXU-NYSE)
JOHNSON&JOHNSON (JNJ-NYSE) UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (UPS-NYSE)
PEPSICO (PEP-NYSE) XEROX (XRX-NYSE)

WBENC's "Sweet 16" includes eight companies earning recognition as a Top Corporation for the second consecutive year, and they are AT&T, JCPenney, SBC Communications, The Chase Manhattan Bank, Texaco, TXU, United Parcel Service and Xerox. American Express, Cinergy, Shell Oil Company and Texas Instruments made the list after participating in their first WBENC corporate best practices survey.

"These corporations had an average increase of seven percent over the 1999 list in four out of the five key areas addressed in the WBENC survey," said Susan Phillips Bari, president of WBENC. "They also averaged about 25 percent above all of the other companies in the 2000 survey with scores exceeding the 90th percentile in most categories. These corporations truly raised the bar this year and have shown that their programs are performing at a higher level."

The five primary areas examined by the survey, and identified by WBENC's ongoing research as instrumental to corporate best practices, are: (1) corporate strategic planning, in particular CEO and top management involvement; (2) identification and development of WBEs, including third-party certification and mentor-protg programs; (3) internal buyer education and training; (4) resources for buyers and measurement of results; and (5) internal and external communications.

"For the second consecutive year, we received a 25 percent response from the approximately 400 corporations nationwide with supplier diversity programs for WBEs," said Bari. "We know that less than 30 percent of the major U.S. companies have supplier diversity programs for WBEs, and only one-fourth of these companies responded to our survey. This means WBENC must work harder to raise the level of awareness and understanding by most of corporate America on the importance of supplier diversity programming as a vehicle for providing increased opportunities for WBEs and creating a positive impact on the corporation's bottom line."

Bari added that women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy with reports showing more than 9 million U.S. businesses owned and operated by women.. However, the Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies indicates that women-owned firms receive less than three percent of the business generated by America's major corporations.

"WBENC's mission is to expand market opportunities for WBEs in both the private and public sector," said Bari. "The Top Corporations list is a benchmark from which to gauge the growth and impact of corporate supplier diversity programs for WBEs."

WBENC will issue a 30-page report on its "Search for America' s Top Corporations for WBEs," which summarizes the 16 corporations' supplier diversity programs and the results of WBENC's corporate best practices survey. A copy of the report is available at www.wbenc.org.

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), with national headquarters in Washington, DC, is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for women's business enterprises. In partnership with women's business organizations throughout the United States, WBENC provides access to a national standard of certification and provides information on certified businesses to purchasing managers through an Internet database - WBENCLink. For more information about the 2000 list of America's Top Corporations for WBEs visit the WBENC web site at www.wbenc.org.

Updated: October 2000