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Female CEOs on this year’s Fortune 500 just broke three all-time records

Fortune: “In 2021, the number of women running businesses on the Fortune 500 hit an all-time record: 41. But that’s not all. For the first time two Black women are running Fortune 500 businesses (Roz Brewer of No 16. Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett of No. 79 TIAA) —and another executive is making history at the helm of the highest-ranking business ever run by a female CEO (Karen Lynch of No. 4 CVS Health). These three milestones together amount to an exceptional year for the leadership of the Fortune 500, which ranks America’s largest companies. The 67-year-old list has long been seen as a microcosm of U.S. business at large. For that reason, the number of female chief executives on the ranking is a closely watched statistic among those who track gender diversity in board rooms and C-suites across the country. While these achievements are notable, they’re only part of the story. Forty-one women chief executives amounts to female leadership for just 8.1% of the Fortune 500. Says Lorraine Hariton, CEO of the gender equality organization Catalyst: “We need to tell the optimistic—but not exuberant— story around what’s happening for women.”…

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