Number Crunch

Women Are In Charge Now More Than Ever

A record number of women are now leading Global 500 businesses

Dylan Hughes
Published in
2 min readAug 4, 2021
Illustration: Save As / Medium

23: That’s the number of women leading Global 500 businesses, an increase of nine from 2020, according to Fortune. That is the highest number since Fortune began tracking the number of female CEOs in 2014.

Six of the women are of color, up from just one in 2020.

Some of the new female CEOs include Karen Lynch of CVS Health, Roz Brewer of Walgreens, Jane Fraser of Citigroup, and Thasunda Brown Duckett of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA).

Even with the rising number of female CEOs, 23 of 500 equals just 4.6%. Within the Fortune 500, tracking the top 500 companies in America, female CEOs operate 41 companies — making for 8.2%.

CVS’s Karen Lynch, who was previously the Executive Vice President of CVS and President of Aetna, was elevated to the role of CEO in February. She is running the largest company of any of the women; CVS is ranked fourth on the Fortune 500 list and seventh on the Global 500 list.

These numbers are still incredibly small compared to the number of men leading the world’s largest companies, but it is a sign of progress nonetheless.

Hopefully other large companies will realize that gender has no impact on leadership ability.

Follow Dylan Hughes for writing on business, electric vehicles, crypto, and more.



Dylan Hughes
Writer for

Two-time self-development author also writing on business and electric vehicles. My free newsletter: