Fortune 500 features two Black women CEOs for first time

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer and Thasunda Brown Duckett crack the top 100 after assuming chief executive roles earlier this year

Loading the player...

The Fortune 500 list for 2021 is an historic one.

The annual list of the 500 largest American companies by total revenue features two Black female CEO’s on the same list for the first time ever, according to ABC News.

The 67th edition of Fortune 500 features Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Thasunda Brown Duckett, the CEO of TIAA.

Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer (via LinkedIn)

The pharmaceutical retailer Walgreens ranked 16th on the list after delivering more than $139 billion in revenues in its most recent fiscal year. TIAA, a financial service organization, ranked 79th with more than $41 billion in revenues.

Citing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data, CNN reports the two women are in rare company on Wall Street as Black people make up just 3.3% of senior and executive leaders presently working in corporate America.

READ MORE: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America announce first Black CEO

Brewer, a former Starbucks executive, was appointed CEO of Walgreens in March, according to theGrio.

Brown Duckett took over TIAA as CEO in February, as reported by theGrio. Prior to that, she was CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. She replaced another Black CEO in Roger W. Ferguson Jr., who retired from his post.

TIAA CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett (via LinkedIn)

TIAA is the only Fortune 500 company to have two consecutive Black CEOs.

“It does not escape me that I am standing on the shoulders of giants, including the cooks and janitors and others who look like me and were first to enter corporate America,” Brown Duckett said told ABC. “They created the space for me to have this opportunity. My hope is that corporate America realizes that talent is created equally but opportunity is not, and we all acknowledge that there’s still more work to be done.”

Brewer and Brown Duckett follow in the footsteps of Ursula Burns, the first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 firm. She ran Xerox from 2009 to 2016, according to the Harvard Business Review.

READ MORE: Tulsa’s Black Wall Street being redeveloped by white companies

Additionally, the 2021 Fortune 500 lists the most female CEO’s in history with 41 total. The highest ranking of the 41 is Karen S. Lynch, who leads pharmacy and health company CVS Health. The retailer made over $268 billion in revenue in its latest fiscal year.

Walmart led the list with more than $559 billion on the top line. The retail conglomerate has topped the list every year since 2013, according to Fortune.

The companies on the 2021 Fortune 500 combine for a grand total of $13.8 trillion in revenues. Black Enterprise reports that the companies accounted for around two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...