Fortune's Most Powerful Women in Business 2021
by Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Business and edited by Lea Bishop, WPN
Fortune announced its list of the 2021 Most Powerful Women on October 4. Five of their top 10 are relatively new CEOs when they stepped into the corner office during the pandemic. These five include Karen Lynch (CVS Health), Jane Fraser (Citi), Carol Tomé (UPS), Roz Brewer (Walgreens Boots Alliance), and Thasunda Brown Duckett (TIAA).
Three of the top 10 women run companies in the health sector. CVS Health’s CEO, Karen Lynch is ranked No. 1. Soon after taking over in February 2021, she made CVS into a hub for Covid tests and vaccines and a central player in the pandemic response. Now she is focusing on transforming CVS stores into health care super clinics to deliver primary health care.
Jane Fraser, Citigroup’s CEO is ranked No. 2. As the first female head of a major Wall Street bank, Fraser has been working on unifying Citi’s wealth management business and plans to sell underperforming portions of their consumer operations. The No. 3 spot goes to Accenture’s CEO Julie Sweet. Not only has she worked to increase revenue by 14%, she has invested heavily in leading technologies and set ambitious environment goals.
Also in Fortune's top 10 rankings are Rosalind Brewer (No. 6) CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Thasunda Brown Duckett (No. 10), president and CEO of investment firm TIAA. They are the only two black women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies — of which there have only been four ever. Both have prioritized equity programs- Brewer has made vaccine equity a priority while Duckett works to make the financial system more inclusive for people of color.
In putting together this year’s MPW list, record-setting achievements by all these CEO’s factored into the Forbes criteria. Over the years, their ranking has become more diverse and reflects the slow, but steady, uptick of women taking command of the powerful C-suite.
Here are the top 10 women executives on Fortune's 2021 Most Powerful Women list:
1. Karen Lynch, CEO, CVS Health 2. Jane Fraser, CEO, Citi 3. Julie Sweet, Chairman and CEO, Accenture 4. Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS 5. Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, GM 6. Rosalind Brewer, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance 7. Gail Broudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem 8. Abigail Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Fidelity Investments 9. Ruth Porat, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Alphabet 10. Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and CEO, TIAA
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