From the data published about the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list, Quintiles ranks No. 1 in an important ranking criteria.

How the firm promotes and hires female executives.

The Durham-based firm ranks No. 1.

Quintiles rose two spots on the second World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list to 23rd, and a major reason is its emphasis on female executives. The world’s largest life science services firm, which is now in its 30th year, has the greatest percentage of female execs among the 25 companies ranked at a whopping 52 percent.

The percentage of female executives is one of the key criteria the Great Place to Work For Institute considers in compiling its ranking, and SAS emerged as the overall winner on Wednesday.

Quintiles may not have won this year, but the company takes great pride in its overall ranking and also says the top spot in female executives reflects a corporate commitment to hiring and promoting women.

“Overall, women make up a significant part of our workforce – over 65%, so it’s no surprise that such a high number are in our senior management roles,” Steve Brechbiel, senior director of Community Relations for Quintiles, told WRAL News.

“In fact, we are making a concentrated effort to support the professional development of women at Quintiles through programs such as our Women Inspired Network initiative, which provides a variety of support activities, leadership sessions and outreach in the community.”

Quintiles, a privately held firm, also competes in a field where women have flourished, Brechbiel said.

“Two of our most common roles – pharmaceutical sales representatives and clinical research associates, have traditionally included a large number of women, many with backgrounds in life sciences, which includes nursing, and biostatistics.”

Global Enterprise Wins Other Honors

Quintiles has some 27,000 employees worldwide with some 2,000 of those in the Triangle and 8,000 in the U.S. The latest honor is one of three the firm has received recently regarding workplace environment. Quintiles recently ranked No. 6 on Information Week’s list and 26th on the IT Best Place to Work list.

Like SAS, the company operates globally and says its employees are its greatest strength in the competitive contract research organization and life science marketplace – not just technology. 

“As a service provider, our employees differentiate us from the competition, and we know there is a measurable link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction,” Brechbiel explained. “This isn’t something new – Quintiles actually received our first workplace recognition eight years ago in Germany.”

Worker evaluations are a crucial factor in the Great Place to Work For Institute rankings, and Brechbeil acknowledged that employees must have trust in the company leaders for a company to be ranked. 

Recruiting, Retention Bonus for Company

Quintiles, which offers a cafe at its headquarters located just off I-40 near the boundary of Research Triangle Park, also seeks to reward employees for efforts above and beyond the call of standard duty as a means to motivate and retain them.

 ”This year along, we’ve received almost a dozen unique workplace awards,” Brechbeil said. “That said, this is certainly one of the most prestigious. Among the benefits of being recognized is that potential employees certainly hear about you. Another bonus is the legitimacy of the data the award is based upon – input from your current employees. And finally, these results give you ideas for areas that may need improvement.”

Quintiles does have an employee retention rate of 88 percent, which Brechbeil considers “a strong rate by any measure in a company of our size.”

Tom Pike, the recently named chief executive officer at Quintiles, said in a statement that he was quite pleased by the workplace recognition.

“As a healthcare business services company, employee engagement is an imperative,” Pike said. “We have found a very clear correlation between employee engagement and customer loyalty, satisfaction and quality. This recognition is not only an honor, it is proof of our competitive differentiation.”

“It’s important to understand that the work we do every day helps to improve patient health around the globe,” Pike continued. “This commitment to a healthier world is what drives most of our employees to this industry. Our ability to live up to this promise is what motivates them to stay and help our customers succeed.”

[QUINTILES ARCHIVE: Check out 10 years of Quintiles stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]