Lehigh Gas Partners in Downtown Allentown earned national recognition as a 2020 Women on Boards Winning “W” Company for 2013.
The winning companies are recognized for the diversity of their boards. These companies have 20 percent or more women serving on their board of directors.
Melinda B. German and Maura E. Topper are 25 percent of Lehigh Gas Partners' eight-member board. The company appointed German as a director in March 2013 and Topper, daughter of Joe Topper, chairman and CEO, in May 2012.
"I think it's a great honor," Joe Topper said this morning. "I always value the input of diversity. I think in our workforce we have a very high percentage of women."
He estimated that 40 percent of its workforce is women.
Topper said he also likes to hire women returning to the workforce after they have been stay-at-home parents, since they've obtained invaluable skills.
A nonprofit national grassroots campaign, 2020 Women on Boards is committed to increasing the percentage of women who serve on public company boards to 20 percent or greater by the year 2020.
"It signals to shareholders and employees and consumers that companies that have women on boards are supportive of the advancement of women," said Malli Gero, executive director of 2020 Women on Boards, based in Boston. "They take proper and good governance seriously."
Studies have shown that corporations with a balance of men and women on boards are more profitable, she added.
The organization has been giving the awards and certificates for three years. For the year 2013, 490 companies earned recognition for their diversity, an increase of 45 over the previous year.
"Companies are starting to pay attention to it," Gero said.
This recognition is good not only for Lehigh Gas, but for other companies to notice, Joe Topper added.
Lehigh Gas Partners, headquartered in Allentown, is a wholesale distributor of motor fuels and owner and lessee of real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels. Formed in 2012, Lehigh Gas Partners owns or leases more than 500 sites in 11 states.