March 15, 2023
At the end of 2022, approximately 10% of the Fortune 500 Companies were led by women CEOs. This translates to 52 of 500 positions and of these 52 leaders, here are 10 to watch, women who possess expertise and experience that sets them apart.
Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health (Tii:CVS). As the CEO of one of the largest health providers in the world, she began her career at Ernst & Young as a certified professional accountant and has worked for several notable health care providers like Cigna and Magellan. Lynch has been recognized for many achievements and prestigious awards like being first on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women in Business List and 8th on the
Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022 list, Lynch is the highest-ranking female CEO in the Fortune 500.
Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Tii:WBA). The former COO of Starbucks was named CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2021. An experienced executive, Brewer did her part to break the glass ceiling for Black women, being the first Black CEO of Sam’s Club, the third Black woman CEO to date, and the first woman and Black COO of Starbucks. Instrumental in the support and implementation of diversity initiatives while at Starbucks, including racial bias training, building mentorship programs that connect BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) partners with senior leaders, and investing in partnerships with professional organizations that develop BIPOC talent, Brewer impacted Starbucks corporate culture for the better.
Gail Boudreaux, CEO of Elevance Health (Tii:ELV). In February 2023, Boudreaux became the first woman to chair the Business Council in the group’s nearly 90-year history. An international organization of Chief Executive Officers, it is a prestigious appointment that is by invitation only. Known for her impressive leadership and ability to grow businesses, in her first four years as CEO, the company’s stock value rose 70%.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (Tii:GM). The first woman CEO of a Big Three automaker is credited with taking the company from bankruptcy to profitability since she took the position in 2014. Leading the transition to electric vehicles by 2035, championing self-driving cars and invested in a ride share service called Maven, she has consistently driven change. Also notable, in gender equity reports, GM has consistently scored highly and in 2018, it was one of only two global businesses that had no gender pay gap.
Carol Tomé, CEO of United Parcel Service (Tii:UPS). Tomé is known for coming out of retirement to lead the company. She previously served as CFO for Home Depot. Tomé was the first female chief executive officer at UPS and the first UPS CEO that was not promoted from within. Within the first 3 months of her joining UPS as CEO, she focused on the preparations for the logistics for the 2020 holiday season and delivery of the COVID vaccine. The work that UPS did throughout the pandemic was essential with annual delivery volume numbers up double digits.
Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup (Tii:C). Fraser became the first female CEO to lead a major Wall Street bank in 2021 and the first woman CEO of Citi. She has held many roles at Citi including president and CEO of Global Consumer Banking. Listed third on
Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women list, her leadership has had a great impact, and she is recognized for her leadership, corporate strategy planning and her significant role in mergers and acquisitions during the financial crisis.
Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy (Tii:BBY). Barry became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 100 company (at the time) when she was named CEO of Best Buy in 2019 at the age of 44. Making critical decisions to protect workers and guests, Barry made a comprehensive plan during COVID to mandate masks, change its stores temporarily into fulfillment centers where customers could come to pick their orders and offer more compensation for its workers. Profits have reflected her insight. She is known for some unusual but insightful career advice saying to “...have those uncomfortable moments. Because my strong personal belief is it is those moments that cause you to grow the most yourself, but that also differentiate you the most in your career.”
Tricia Griffith, CEO of Progressive (Tii:PGR). Griffith was named CEO in 2016 and over the next five years, built on the company’s profitability. In addition, she has put an emphasis on creating a diverse and inclusive environment for all employees. In 2018, Progressive’s annual Culture Survey placed the company in the 96th percentile of all companies who use Gallup’s survey, showing an engaged culture that’s leading to success. Additionally, under Tricia’s leadership, Progressive achieved the No. 1 ranking in The Wall Street Journal’s first corporate ranking of diversity and inclusion in 2019 and again in 2021.
Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, was named as its CEO in February 2021. Duckett came into her role at TIAA with more than $1 trillion in assets under the company’s management. Like Brewer, she is among an elite class of Black women CEOs to lead a Fortune 500 company. And as an influential executive, she supports advancing financial inclusion and opportunity for everyone, no matter how much they earn. Financial inclusion and opportunity are issues she has supported throughout her career.
Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle (Tii:ORCL). Catz has served as CEO of software firm Oracle since September 2014. Her work on Wall Street for 14 years covering the software industry gave her the experience and moxy to fuel the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy that has worked to close more than 130 deals.
Though it is a greatly disparate number it is important to acknowledge both the incredible accomplishments of these women and the work yet to be done. And according to a study by Catalyst, 2022 set a record year for women in the highest role in the corporate world.
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