The 2010 best companies for women was just released by the National Association of Female Executive (NAFE). This list reflects companies that make use of all of their talented staff and create incentives for high performers to stay and thrive. The Top 50 companies recognize what women bring to the table: strong leadership, team building, looking at the big picture.In addition, these companies have growing numbers of women in leadership: on average, women hold 23% of board seats at these companies (versus 16% in Fortune 500 companies) and represent 14% percent of CEOs (versus 2% in the Fortune 500).

The top 10 companies are in a diverse set of industries and are all market leaders: Abbott (pharmaceuticals); Aetna (insurance); American Express; Fleishmann Hilliard (public relations); General Mills; IBM; Johnson & Johnson; Marriott; Office Depot and WellPoint (health care).

General Mills earned the Best in Class award for its work in this area which includes strong hiring programs; a surround of mentoring: development of women as team members with needed expertise; flexibility and offering women stretch assignments to run major businesses.General Mills numbers are impressive: women run five of the seven major divisions. But the various networks of women at General Mills have now joined together as “Women in Leadership” to define how to do even better at increasing the number of women at the company in the next ten years.