More than 10% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women—the highest number in Fortune’s 69 years of publishing the list.
- Fortune 500 companies are ranked by revenue—listing some of the most successful companies in the U.S.
- The list provides a microcosm of American business and gives analysts a better idea of how diverse the American workplace is.
- Of the 500 companies listed, 52 are led by female CEOs this year, an 18% increase from last year. Twelve of these CEOs were hired in the last year.
- More women are being hired as CEOs as more companies look for more diverse leadership and input in their executive teams.
Why it’s news
The increase in women-led companies coincides with significant change for many institutions. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is forcing many businesses to re-evaluate their status quo, and at least some are emphasizing diverse hiring.
“The era of A.I. is requiring companies to reinvent every aspect—we call it total enterprise reinvention,” Accenture CEO Julie Sweet says. “Diverse leaders have had to continuously reinvent and adapt at a personal level throughout their careers. They’re resilient, adaptable, and have to be pioneers.”
Of the 52 female CEOs on the list, 12 were hired in the last year. Several were internal hires, such as Cummins CEO Jennifer Rumsey, American Electric Power CEO Julia A. Sloat, and Reliance Steel & Aluminum CEO Karla R. Lewis. Others like Fannie Mae’s Priscilla Almodovar and Lumen CEO Kate Johnson were external hires.
Mary Dillon, the former CEO of Ulta Beauty, is once again the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, running Foot Locker. Sue Gove has been overseeing the bankruptcy of Bed Bath & Beyond, which is still included as a Fortune 500 company for now.
Some female CEOs who appeared on the list last year have moved on to other positions. For example, Gap Inc.’s former CEO Sonia Syngal left the company after a two-year tenure. Michelle Gass, former Kohl’s CEO, is now at Levi’s and is positioned for higher leadership roles there. Levi’s is not a Fortune 500 company.
Linda Rendle is still running the cleaning product company Clorox, but the business is no longer included on the Fortune 500 list.
CVS Health is once again the largest Fortune 500 company led by a female CEO, ranking number six overall. The next on the list is General Motors, run by Mary Barra, at number 21 on the list.
While more women CEOs are joining the list, there are still relatively few women of color. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Roz Brewer and TIAA CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett are the only two black female CEOs on the list. Other women of color on the list are Fannie Mae’s Almodovar, AMD’s Lisa Su, and Yum China’s Joey Wat.
Here are the top 10 women CEOs on the Fortune 500 list with their company rank:
- 6 – Karen Lynch, CVS Health
- 21 – Mary Barra, General Motors
- 22 – Gail Boudreaux, Anthem
- 25 – Sarah London, Centene
- 27 – Roz Brewer, Walgreens Boots Alliance
- 28 – Priscilla Almodovar, Fannie Mae
- 36 – Jane Fraser, Citigroup
- 37 – Carol Tomé, United Parcel Service
- 88 – Susan Griffith, Progressive
- 94 – Corie Barry, Best Buy