American Institutes for Research Recognized Among Top 75 Companies for Executive Women by Seramount for Third Consecutive Year

Arlington, Va. – The American Institutes for Research (AIR) has been named one of the “Top 75 Companies for Executive Women” by Seramount for the third consecutive year. The designation recognizes companies’ commitment and support of women’s advancement, with a focus on recruitment and retention, greater equity in pay, and succession planning at the senior-most levels.

AIR has realized growth in the last year with women’s representation at all levels of the organization. The recognition comes on the heels of a defining time for AIR; Jessica Heppen, currently AIR’s president, will become the first woman to lead AIR in its 76-year history when she becomes president and CEO in early 2024.

“At AIR, we’re on a mission to cultivate a workplace that empowers women at all levels of their career to reach their highest potential,” said Karen Francis, AIR vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer. “This award once again underscores the continuous work we do to grow a culture that identifies, promotes and nurtures successful women, and our commitment to leading with inclusion.”

For more than 25 years, Seramount’s Top 75 Companies for Executive Women list has assessed corporations’ progress in creating cultures that encourage women to join and rise through the ranks. AIR is in the company of other distinguished organizations, including Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal USA and State Farm. Seramount is a strategic professional services and research firm dedicated to supporting high-performing, inclusive workplaces.

This year AIR ranked at 67. The institution continues to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles and is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring that women have advocates for their advancement. Women comprise seven of the 11 members of AIR’s Executive Leadership Team and five out of its 12-member Board of Directors, on which Patricia Gurin of the University of Michigan serves as chair.

AIR’s women-focused employee network group, Women in Support of Equity (WISE), continues to play an integral role in supporting women across all levels at AIR and advancing policies that promote work-life balance. WISE aims to support gender equity both internally within AIR and externally in AIR's health, human services, and international development work in communities globally. These efforts contribute to AIR's DEI strategyAIR's DEI strategy for creating a positive work environment and advancing mission-driven work.

This year’s recognition builds upon other DEI-related awards, including Diversity MBA’s 2023 Best Places to Work for Women and Diverse Managers. View a complete list of winners for Seramount’s 2023 Top 75 Companies for Executive Women.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the American Institutes for Research® (AIR®) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and the workforce. AIR's work is driven by its mission to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. With headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR has offices across the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit

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