To say the pandemic has been transformative for business is an understatement.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that three of the top 10 women named to Fortune’s 2021 Most Powerful Women list, released Monday, run companies in the health sector or that half of them became CEOs during the Covid crisis.
CVS Health’s CEO Karen Lynch is ranked No. 1.
Lynch garnered the top spot for two big reasons: Shortly after taking over in February of this year, she made CVS a central player in the US pandemic response, turning it into a hub for Covid tests and vaccines. And she now wants to transform how primary health care is delivered by turning many neighborhood CVS stores into health care super clinics.
Ranked No. 2 is Jane Fraser, Citigroup’s CEO. In assuming the post earlier this year she became the first female chief of a major Wall Street bank.
Among Fraser’s accomplishments so far, Fortune notes, she has been unifiying Citi’s wealth management business and making plans to sell underperforming portions of the company’s consumer operations.
Accenture’s chairman and CEO Julie Sweet, who was last year’s top ranking woman on Fortune’s list, takes the No. 3 spot. On her watch, Fortune reports, the consulting firm saw revenue rise 14% in fiscal 2021, has invested heavily in leading technologies such as 5G and blockchain and set ambitious environmental goals, such as having net zero carbon emissions and net zero waste by 2025.
Brewer and Duckett are currently the only two Black women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies — of which there have only been four ever.
In addition to running complex, multibillion-dollar companies, both have prioritized fostering equity. Brewer has made vaccine equity a priority and Duckett is known for her efforts to make the financial system more inclusive for people of color.
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
(Here is the full list of 50. Please note a subscription is required.)
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