CHICAGO, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines was named a top corporation for women-owned and -operated businesses by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) for the third consecutive year. "America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises" is the only national award honoring corporations with world-class supplier diversity programs that create level playing fields for women's enterprises and generate a high volume of business with these companies. United is the only airline to earn a spot on WBENC's 15th annual list.
Employees of various backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, lifestyles and cultures from around the world make up United's global workforce of 85,000. "At United we believe diversity is one of our greatest strengths," said Katrina Manning, United's vice president of technical procurement. "And that diversity extends beyond employees; it shapes how we approach relationships with our suppliers and business partners. We've made it our priority to ensure that small, minority-, and women-owned suppliers have access to opportunities with United."
This WBENC honor stems from United's Supplier Diversity Initiative, an integral part of the airline's business operations. The program aims to ensure that certified minority-, women-, veteran-, LGBT-owned enterprises and small businesses have opportunities to compete to provide products and services within United's extensive supply chain.
Last year, United was named Corporation of the Year by the Minority Supplier Diversity Council. In addition to WBENC, United is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and many local affiliate councils such as the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women's Business Enterprise Alliance and the Women's Business Development Center.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of more than 5,300 flights a day to more than 360 airports across six continents. In 2013, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 139 million customers. United is delivering a more flyer-friendly experience, offering more premium-cabin flat-bed seats and extra-legroom, economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S. global carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi, including on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on more than 200 aircraft, with more live television access than any airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and, in 2014, will take delivery of 35 new Boeing aircraft and welcome the E175 aircraft to United Express. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2013, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the Best Frequent-Flyer program for 10 consecutive years. Air Transport World named United the Eco-Aviation Airline of the Year Gold Winner in 2013. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 28 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation's leader in women's business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.
SOURCE United Airlines