Through NOW's new Fortune 500 Project, we are enlisting some of the top companies in the country to join us in the campaign for Women-Friendly Workplaces. A little over a month after NOW began organizing the Project, twelve Fortune 500 businesses have already signed on.
Long leaders in their respective industries, these companies now have the opportunity to take the lead in ending employment discrimination and harassment. On behalf of NOW, I want to thank and recognize the companies that have pledged to work with us on this campaign: Bestfoods, Cinergy, Dayton Hudson, Giant Foods, GTE, Hannaford Brothers, IBM, JP Morgan, P.G. Walker, Phoenix Home Life Mutual Life Insurance Company, TYCO International and Viacom.
This morning, we sat down for the first time with representatives of some of these companies to talk about the meaning of the Employer's Pledge and the next steps of the project. I am very happy to welcome these business leaders to the Women-Friendly Workplace Campaign, and yet I cannot help but wonder where the other 488 companies are. What holds nearly 97 percent of this country's top companies back from pledging to treat all their workers fairly? We must convince them that women-friendly workplaces are good business and good for business.
During its two years, the Women-Friendly Workplace Campaign has raised consumer awareness about -- and put public pressure on -- companies we have targeted because of their poor employment practices. NOW has labeled such companies Merchants of Shame and protested them with pickets and letter-writing, while former and present employees sought legal redress.
Thanks in part to our efforts, women who work for securities firms like the former Smith Barney have greater opportunities and a better chance of being able to perform their jobs free from harassment or discrimination. And automotive corporations like Mitsubishi Motors have begun to address discrimination on their assembly lines.
We will continue to mount public information campaigns to let consumers know which employers are committed to equality, and which are not.
As Women's History Month 1999 draws to an end, the National Organization for Women and its 500,000 contributing members are gearing up our campaign for workplace fairness. We will use the strategies necessary -- both the carrot and the stick -- to stop discrimination and harassment on the job. We plan to have even more to celebrate this time next year.