10 Top Women CEOs

These 10 women lead Fortune 500 companies

It is often said that the glass ceiling in corporate boardrooms is still intact. However, a few cracks appear here and there. Though the number of women chief executive officers (CEOs) at the helm of the largest companies is still significantly lower than the number of men serving as CEOs, their ranks continue to grow.

The following are 10 top women CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. They are listed in terms of their company’s Fortune 500 ranking in 2022 by revenue, starting with the highest.

Key Takeaways

  • Women represent a small fraction of chief executive officers (CEOs) at the largest corporations, although their ranks are growing.
  • Women lead some of the largest corporations in a variety of industries, ranging from technology to finance.
  • Not only are women breaking barriers, but some are also changing history by occupying spaces formerly held by men.
  • Most of the featured CEOs rank both in Forbes' World's Most Powerful Women list and Fortune's Most Powerful Women list.
  • Many of the top 10 women CEOs maintained their position from 2021, whereas some have moved up in rank.

1. Karen Lynch

CEO, CVS Health (CVS)

Lynch assumed the CEO role in February 2021. Previously, she was executive vice president of CVS Health and the president of Aetna, the corporation’s insurance arm.

Lynch is the highest-ranking female CEO in the Fortune 500. CVS is one of the largest health providers in the world. Lynch is number 8 on the Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022 list and number 1 on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women in Business list.

2. Rosalind Brewer

CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

In 2021, the former chief operating officer (COO) of Starbucks, Rosalind Brewer, was named CEO of Walgreens. Brewer—the third Black woman and one of 41 women to run a Fortune 500 company—is a seasoned executive in corporate America. Before joining Starbucks in 2017, Brewer served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club. Notably, she became the first Black CEO of Sam’s Club.

In 2022, 52 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies were women.

Brewer, the first woman and Black COO of Starbucks, helped to spearhead diversity initiatives—including racial bias training—and tie executive pay to diversity targets. Brewer ranks seventh on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women in Business list and 13th on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022 list.

3. Gail Boudreaux

CEO, Elevance Health (ELV), formerly Anthem

Boudreaux was named CEO of Elevance Health, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., in 2017. In her first four years as CEO, the company’s stock increased by more than 70%.

Previously, Boudreaux was CEO of UnitedHealthcare, the largest division within UnitedHealth Group. She ranks ninth on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women list and 16th on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022.

Fortune 500 Rank
CEO Company Fortune 500 Rank in 2022
Karen Lynch CVS Health 4
Rosalind Brewer Walgreens Boots Alliance 18
Gail Boudreaux Elevance (formerly Anthem) 20
Mary Barra General Motors 25
Carol Tomé United Parcel Service 34
Jane Fraser Citigroup 44
Corie Barry Best Buy 68
Tricia Griffith Progressive 79
Thasunda Brown Duckett TIAA 90
Safra Catz Oracle 91
Source: Fortune

4. Mary Barra

CEO, General Motors (GM)

Ranking fourth, Barra is the first female CEO of General Motors and pretty much the first for a major automobile company in the United States. She slid into the driver’s seat at GM in January 2014, taking the wheel from Daniel Akerson, who is credited for turning the company profitable after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011.

Barra is leading the charge for GM to transition to electric vehicles by 2035. She ranked fourth on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women and Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022 lists.

5. Carol Tomé

CEO, United Parcel Service (UPS)

Tomé came out of retirement to take the helm of UPS in June 2020. She retired as the chief financial officer (CFO) of Home Depot in 2019. Tomé is the first female CEO at UPS and the first UPS CEO who wasn’t promoted from within.

During the first 100 days as CEO, she prioritized planning the logistics for the 2020 holiday season and COVID-19 vaccine deliveries. Throughout the pandemic, UPS has been an essential service. She is number 21 on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022 list and commands the sixth position on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women list.

6. Jane Fraser

CEO, Citigroup (C)

Named Citigroup's CEO in 2021, Jane Fraser became the company's first female CEO and the first to run a Wall Street bank. She joined Citi in 2004 and held various executive roles, including CEO of Global Consumer Banking and Citi's president.

Soon after becoming CEO, Fraser initiated a "refresh" to simplify operations. Her goal is to make it "easier to run and improve" bank operations. Fraser is listed as number 10 on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022 list and number three on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women list.

7 . Corie Barry

CEO, Best Buy (BBY)

Barry was named CEO of Best Buy in 2019 at the age of 44. She was the youngest CEO of a Fortune 100 company at the time. Previously, Barry held positions including chief financial and strategic transformation officer and CFO. Barry joined Best Buy in 1999.

In terms of career advice, Barry says, “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.” Barry ranked 18th among Fortune’s Most Powerful Women of 2022.

8 . Tricia Griffith

CEO, Progressive (PGR)

In 2016, Griffith was named CEO of Progressive after prior roles as Personal Lines COO and chief human resources officer. Progressive, a property and casualty insurance firm, reported more than $47 billion in revenue in 2021.

Under Griffith’s leadership, Progressive is a top-rated company in diversity and inclusion. In management, more than 20% are people from marginalized groups, and approximately 45% are women. Notably, there is no gender pay gap. Griffith ranks 51st among Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in 2022 and 25th among Fortune’s Most Powerful Women of 2022.

9. Thasunda Brown Duckett

CEO, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA)

Retirement and investment manager TIAA named Thasunda Brown Duckett as its CEO in February 2021. TIAA has more than $1 trillion in assets under management. Like Brewer, she is among an elite class of Black women CEOs to lead a Fortune 500 company.

Duckett succeeded Roger W. Ferguson Jr., who was one of five Black CEOs in the Fortune 500 before retiring. Before TIAA, she was CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. For 2021, Duckett was ranked 45th on Fortune’s 2022 Most Powerful Women and Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women lists. For 2022, Duckett jumped to Fortune's number 11 position and leaped to Forbes' 37th spot.

10. Safra Catz

CEO, Oracle (ORCL)

Former Oracle CFO Safra Catz was appointed as one of two company CEOs in 2014 after Lawrence Ellison stepped down from the position. Following the death of co-CEO Mark Hurd, Catz became the sole CEO in 2019.

Under her leadership, the tech giant has pursued an aggressive acquisition strategy, completing more than 130 acquisitions. Earning a triple crown, Catz is listed as number 19 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women 2022, Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women in 2022, and Forbes' America's Richest Self-Made Women 2022 lists.

Who Is the Most Famous Woman Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?

Perhaps the most famous woman CEO is Karen Lynch, chief executive officer (CEO) of CVS Health, the fourth-largest Fortune 500 company, with more than $292 billion in revenue in 2021. Following closely are Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreen Boots Alliance, and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors.

How Many CEOs Are Women?

As of the end of 2022, 52 women were CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, approximately 10% of the total. Two of the CEOs are Black women, one CEO is transgender, and one CEO sits within the top five largest companies overall. It marked a record year for women in the highest-ranking corporate role.

Which Companies Have Women CEOs?

As of the end of 2022, the largest Fortune 500 companies with women CEOs include CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, General Motors, Anthem, Citigroup, United Parcel Service, Best Buy, Progressive, TIAA, and Oracle.

How Many Black Women CEOs Are There?

As of May 2022, there were two Black women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, runs the 18th-largest company by revenue. Thasunda Brown Duckett is CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), the 90th-largest company on the list.

Correction—Jan. 28, 2023: This article previously provided an incorrect bio for Jane Fraser.

Article Sources
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