Women's Resource Center just announced the winners of the 2016 Pillar Awards. The award goes to employers who are empowering the women in their workplace through progressive and inclusive practices to improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of working women.

WRC Executive Director Sharon Caldwell-Newton says the Pillar Awards are an opportunity to honor local businesses that exemplify our mission of empowering women in the workplace. She adds, "Each of the three 2016 Pillar award recipients has established an inclusive workplace culture that values their employees as human beings first and recognizes the contributions they directly have on the success of the business."

The winners are:

Hungerford Nichols CPAs & Advisors for their career advancement initiatives and their efforts at creating a supportive work culture. Women make up 47% of professional staff and 37.5% of shareholders, exceeding industry averages. The firm has made major efforts to create a work/life balance by investing in technology allowing for employees to work remotely, making part-time schedules available to professional staff, and not limiting promotion opportunities to management or shareholder positions.

Kent District Library (KDL) is recognized for their inclusion and diversity practices, and their supportive workplace culture. Their female leadership; 83% branch managers, 50% Executive Leadership team, and 50% of Board of Trustees exceeds industry averages. KDL facilitates career advancement through peer-staff mentoring, external professional development, and a formalized leadership institute.

UPS is highlighted for their efforts in facilitating career advancement and inclusion and diversity initiatives. UPS employs over 7,000 in West Michigan, 21% are women. In a male dominated industry, UPS has been proactive in creating leadership development programs for women. The Women's Business Resource Group was formed in 2013 with 15 members, has now grown to 300.

The Pillar Award luncheon is open to the public and will be Wednesday, March 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.

You can buy tickets online by CLICKING HERE.