Because of the multiple crises marking this year – the pandemic, economic shocks, an overdue reckoning with racial injustice and climate change disasters – the criteria to determine who should make the top 50 list was expanded this year.
“Simply put, 2020 is the year when we said a final goodbye to business as usual,” Fortune writers noted in their introduction to the list.
So, in addition to considering the size and health of a woman leader’s business in the global economy, her social and cultural influence, and the arc of her career, Fortune added a new element: how individual women leaders were using their power and influence to shape their companies and the world for the better.
Sweet takes the No. 1 spot for running a professional services firm with more than half a million employees in 51 countries who are helping clients figure out the “new world order.” The firm gets the majority of its revenue from clients in the cloud, digital and security businesses. And, as Covid-19 hit, “the company tapped into that expertise to help connect the UK’s 1.2 million National Health Service workers remotely and to partner with Salesforce on contact tracing and vaccine management technology,” Fortune noted.
GM’s Barra gets top marks in the No. 2 spot both for her role overseeing the automaker’s pivot to creating ventilators in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and for doubling down on her drive to invest in GM’s electric car manufacturing.
At No. 6, and topping the glass-ceiling-breaker category, is Citi Group’s Jane Fraser, who has become the first woman named to run a major US bank.
And among those on the list setting firsts in their industry, Simon & Schuster senior vice president and publisher Dana Canedy comes in at No. 50 as the first Black person to head a major publishing imprint.
Internationally, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley took top spot given her company’s global efforts to contain the coronavirus.
Below is the list of women leaders who ranked in the top 10 on Fortune’s US rankings this year. The full list of the top 50 can be found here.
1. Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture
2. Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors
3. Abigail Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Fidelity Investments
4. Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem
5. Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS
6. Jane Fraser, CEO of Global Consumer Banking; President, Citi
7. Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO, Google, Alphabet
8. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
9. Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy
10. Judith McKenna, President and CEO, Walmart International, Walmart