Three companies honored as top workplaces for women in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH -- A downtown accounting firm, the development company behind the 17,000-acre Alliance development, and a large natural gas producer were recognized Thursday for being top-notch workplaces for women in Fort Worth.

Sanford, Baumeister & Frazier, Hillwood and Chesapeake Energy Corp. were winners in the inaugural Best Workplaces for Women awards, a part of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce's Women Influencing Business program.

The program was highlighted by a keynote speech from Barbara P. Bush, co-founder and president of Global Health Corps, and the daughter of former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. She spoke about how growing up in the White House and traveling to Africa during that time inspired her to work in global healthcare.

She also joked about her namesake grandmother.

"I hope no one here was disappointed to get the 30-year-old version of Barbara Bush," she said. "I have been to a few events where people [were] expecting the 86-year-old, more well-known Barbara Bush. You get me."

Global Health Corps works with organizations in Africa and the United States to find young adults to serve one-year fellowships. The company has 68 people serving in Washington, D.C.; Newark, N.J.; Boston and in five African countries.

Bush said she first traveled to Africa with her parents in 2003.

In 2006, she traveled to Liberia with her mother and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the inauguration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, which she said "definitely inspired me about the opportunity that women have around the world."

Sanford, Baumeister & Frazier received the chamber award in the small business category. Hillwood, the real estate development company of Ross Perot Jr., received the award for medium-sized businesses. Chesapeake received the award in the large business category.

"We congratulate these companies for their concerted efforts to provide the opportunities, compensation, flexibility and other benefits women workers value," said Marilyn Gilbert, the chamber's executive vice president of marketing. "We know we have remarkable companies in our city, but we didn't know all the innovative approaches they take to compete for top female talent. This award gives them a platform to share those practices."

The chamber was helped by Texas Woman's University and collaborated with the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber and Metropolitan Black Chamber.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST