West Michigan Companies Honored for Empowering Women at Work at Annual Pillar Awards

A number of businesses were recently recognized for their efforts to build workplace cultures that empower women at the 26th annual Pillar Awards.

The luncheon ceremony was put on by the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) on Wednesday, March 11 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Three businesses were recognized with Pillar awards: Baker Holtz, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, and Equity Transportation. The 2015 Diversity award was presented to Heart of West Michigan United Way.

“The 2015 Pillar award winners have demonstrated their commitment to empowering women at work,” said Sharon Caldwell-Newton, WRC Executive Director.” This commitment is brought to life through policies they have instituted that help employees, particularly women, balance work/life demands, through innovative programs they have developed to facilitate female leadership and to provide women in transition an opportunity to re-enter the workplace.”

Kelley Root speaking at the 2015 Pillar Awards. Photo credit: Kellie Norton

Kelley Root speaking at the 2015 Pillar Awards.
Photo credit: Kellie Norton

Kelley Root, West Michigan regional sales director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, spoke at the awards ceremony. Blue Cross was an underwriting sponsor of the luncheon and Root serves on the board for the WRC.

“We believe in the work the Women’s Resource Center does to contribute to the local economy by helping women earn a sustainable income,” Root said.

Since 1973, the WRC has worked with over 40,000 women to help them find job training, career coaching, and employment. Helping women, many of them heads of household, find meaningful work is often a catalyst to lift entire families out of poverty. The WRC focuses programs on low-income, single moms with minor children, female ex-offenders, and women living in or near poverty.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was a Pillar Award winner in 2009.

How does your workplace empower women? Share with us in the comments. 

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Photo credit: Highways Agency




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