10 Most Powerful Global Women Leaders on Fortune's 2023 List

By: GWL Team | Wednesday, 11 October 2023

Top 10 Women Leaders: Pioneers of Power, Progress, and Possibilities. Explore the remarkable journeys of these trailblazing women who are reshaping industries, championing diversity, and leading the charge towards a brighter future. Join us in celebrating their extraordinary achievements and empowering legacies.

Women have always been a force to reckon with in the world of business, politics, and society. They have shown their resilience, innovation, and vision in the face of challenges and opportunities. They have led with courage, compassion, and conviction in times of crisis and change. They have inspired and empowered millions of people with their stories and achievements.

Fortune magazine has recognized and honoured these women leaders by releasing its annual list of the 100 most powerful women in 2023. The list features women from 17 countries and 28 industries, who have made a significant impact on the global economy, the direction of their businesses, the arc of their careers, and the social and cultural landscape.

The list is based on four criteria: the size and importance of the woman's business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman's career, and her social and cultural influence.

Join us as we take a quick tour of the top 10 women on Fortune's list, who have demonstrated their power and prowess in their respective fields and beyond.

Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch is the president and CEO of CVS Health, the largest pharmacy chain in the US with over 10,000 stores and 300,000 employees. She ranks first on Fortune's list for leading the company through the COVID-19 pandemic and overseeing its massive testing and vaccination efforts.

Under her leadership, CVS Health administered over 30 million Covid-19 tests and 35 million vaccine doses across the country. She also expanded the company's digital capabilities, telehealth services, and healthcare offerings to meet the changing needs of customers and patients. She is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as a vocal advocate for mental health awareness.

Julie Sweet

Julie Sweet is the CEO of Accenture, a global consulting firm with over $50 billion in revenue and 600,000 employees. She ranks second on Fortune's list for transforming the company into a digital powerhouse and championing diversity and inclusion initiatives. She accelerated Accenture's growth by investing in cloud, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other emerging technologies.

She also acquired over 70 companies in the past two years to expand its capabilities and reach. She led the company's response to the COVID-19 crisis by prioritizing employee safety, well-being, and engagement. She also increased the representation of women and minorities in leadership positions and committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2025.

Mary Barra

Mary Barra is the chairman and CEO of General Motors, one of the largest automakers in the world with over $122 billion in revenue and 155,000 employees. She ranks third on Fortune's list for accelerating

the company's transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and investing in autonomous technology. She announced a bold plan to phase out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

She also launched several new EV models under brands such as Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, and Hummer. She partnered with Microsoft, Honda, LG Chem, Nikola, and others to advance GM's EV ambitions. She also strengthened GM's financial position by raising capital, cutting costs, and increasing market share.

Jane Fraser

Jane Fraser is the CEO of Citigroup, one of the largest banks in the world with over $2 trillion in assets and 200,000 employees. She ranks fourth on Fortune's list for becoming the first woman to lead a major US bank and implementing a strategic overhaul of the company. She took charge of Citigroup in February 2021, amid a challenging environment of low interest rates, regulatory pressures, and rising competition.

She announced a plan to exit 13 consumer markets in Asia and Europe, focus on core businesses, streamline operations, invest in technology, and improve risk management. She also pledged to increase diversity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance stakeholder value.

Jessica Tan

Jessica Tan is the co-CEO of Ping An Insurance Group (China), one of the largest insurance companies in China with over $163 billion in revenue and 376 million customers. She ranks fifth on Fortune's list for driving Ping An's growth and innovation in the insurance industry.

She led Ping An's digital transformation by developing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and cloud computing. She also launched new products and services such as Ping An Good Doctor, Ping An OneConnect, Ping An Smart City, Ping An Smart Education, Ping An Smart Healthcare, Ping An Smart Auto, Ping An Smart Home, and Ping An Smart Travel. She also enhanced Ping An's social responsibility by supporting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.

Carol Tomé

Carol Tomé is the CEO of UPS, one of the largest delivery companies in the world with over $84 billion in revenue and 540,000 employees. She ranks sixth on Fortune's list for steering the company through the pandemic-driven surge in e-commerce and improving its profitability and sustainability.

She joined UPS in June 2020, after serving as the CFO of Home Depot for 18 years. She implemented a strategy called "better not bigger", which focused on optimizing costs, enhancing efficiency, and increasing margins. She also invested in automation, innovation, and electrification to modernize UPS's network and fleet. She boosted UPS's performance by delivering record revenues, earnings, and cash flows in 2020.

Emma Walmsley

Emma Walmsley is the CEO of GSK, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with over $46 billion in revenue and 94,000 employees. She ranks seventh on Fortune's list for leading GSK's mission to develop innovative medicines and vaccines for global health challenges. She oversaw GSK's research and development efforts in areas such as oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, and rare diseases.

She also partnered with other companies and organizations to advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates and treatments. She announced a plan to split GSK into two separate companies: one focused on pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and the other on consumer healthcare products. She also committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.

Ruth Porat

Ruth Porat is the senior vice president and CFO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google and one of the largest technology companies in the world with over $182 billion in revenue and 135,000 employees. She ranks eighth on Fortune's list for managing Alphabet's finances and operations amid regulatory scrutiny and social challenges. She joined Alphabet in 2015, after serving as the CFO of Morgan Stanley.

She implemented financial discipline, capital allocation, and transparency at Alphabet. She also supported Alphabet's growth initiatives, such as cloud computing, YouTube, hardware, and moonshot projects. She also championed Alphabet's efforts to address issues such as diversity, equity, inclusion, privacy, security, and sustainability.

Shemara Wikramanayake

Shemara Wikramanayake is the MD & CEO of Macquarie Group (Australia), one of the largest investment banks in the world with over $428 billion in assets under management and 16,000 employees. She ranks ninth on Fortune's list for overseeing Macquarie's stellar performance and embracing new opportunities.

She led Macquarie's expansion into new markets such as China, India, and Africa. She also diversified Macquarie's portfolio by investing in sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, and technology. She delivered record profits for Macquarie in 2020 despite the Covid-19 crisis. She also advanced Macquarie's ESG agenda by setting ambitious targets for reducing emissions and promoting diversity.

 Thasunda Brown Duckett

Thasunda Brown Duckett is the CEO of TIAA (U.S.), one of the largest financial services firms in the US with over $1.3 trillion in assets under management and 17,000 employees. She ranks tenth on Fortune's list for becoming one of the four Black women to ever run a Fortune 500 company and leading TIAA's mission to serve the academic, research, medical, and cultural sectors.

She joined TIAA in April 2021, after serving as the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. She launched a strategy called "Be The Change", which focused on enhancing TIAA's customer experience, employee engagement, social impact, and innovation. She also leveraged her personal story of financial empowerment to inspire others to achieve their financial goals.

These remarkable women emerge as the beacons of power and influence. Their extraordinary leadership, marked by unwavering courage, boundless compassion, and unshakable conviction, has steered nations and industries through turbulent times. Beyond their titles and accolades, their stories and triumphs have ignited a global fire of empowerment, leaving a legacy that empowers and uplifts millions.

These women are not just powerful; they are the embodiment of a new era where female leadership shines brightly, illuminating the path to a brighter future.