Women Leading Fortune 500 Companies at an all-time high!

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According to a list compiled by Fortune Magazine, a total of 37 women are heading Fortune 500 companies. This number is an all-time high record, a substantial increase from the 33 women and 24 women heading such companies in 2019 and 2018 respectively.

And while this is the largest number of women CEOs heading Fortune 500 companies, unfortunately, it is only a mere 7.4 per cent of all the business leaders of America’s largest companies ranked by Fortune.

Here is a list of the 37 women leaders:

CEO Company Name CEO start date
Anna Manning Reinsurance Group of America 2017
Kathryn Marinello Hertz Global Holdings 2017
Kathleen Mazzarella Graybar Electric 2012
Cheryl Miller Autonation 2019
Deanna Mulligan Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America 2011
Phebe Novakovic General Dynamics 2013
Kristin Peck Zoetis 2020
Penny Pennington Jones Financial (Edward Jones) 2019
Patricia Poppe CMS Energy 2016
Teresa Rasmussen Thrivent Financial 2018
Barbara Rentler Ross Stores 2014
Lori Ryerkerk Celanese 2019
Barbara Smith Commercial Metals 2017
Jill Soltau J. C Penney 2018
Lisa Su Advanced Micro Devices 2014
Sonia Syngal GAP 2020
Carol Tome United Parcel Services 2020
Kathy Warden Northrop Grumman 2019
Joey Wat Yum China 2018
Laura Alber Williams-Sonoma 2010
Mary Barra General Motors 2014
Corie Barry Best Buy 2019
Gail Bordreaux Anthem 2017
Michele Buck Hershey 2017
Safra Catz Oracle 2014
Mary Dillon Ulta Beauty 2013
Heyward Donigan Rite Aid 2019
Beth Ford Land O’Lakes 2018
Michelle Gass Kohl’s 2018
Lynn Good Duke Energy 2013
Susan Patricia Griffith Progressive 2016
Vicki Hollub Occidental Petroleum 2016
Jennifer Johnson Franklin Resources 2020
Margaret Keane Synchrony Financial 2014
Nazzic Keene Science Applications International 2019
Mary Laschinger Veritiv 2014
Christine Leahy CDW 2019


Quite a few women in this list were featured for the very first time. For instance, Heyward Donigan became the CEO of Rite Aid in 2019 as did Sonia Syngal of GAP. Similarly, Carol Tome of UPS, Kristin Peck of Zoetis, and Jennifer Johnson of Franklin Resources have been listed for the first time ever.

Also, many are leading organizations that have been listed on the Fortune 500 list for the first time: Science Applications International and Commercial Metals headed by Nazzic Keene and Barbara Smith respectively are organizations that have made it to the list only this year.

The biggest of these companies headed by a woman is General Motors, the $137 billion worth auto giant. Mary Barra has headed the company since 2014.

Unfortunately, there is very little racial diversity in the women featured on the list. Only three women of colour feature on the list, and none of the Fortune 500 companies are headed by a black woman.

While the trend of an increasing number of women heading Fortune 500 is encouraging, we hope that this number is much higher next year.

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