Now is Your Moment

Each year, more and more Black women are making historical gains in Corporate America. To celebrate these remarkable women, and to encourage those who will make our future lists, Diversity Woman presents its Class of 2022 Elite 100 list of Black women leaders.

Since our inaugural Elite 100 list premiered, Black women continued to make history in 2021. Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, the former Starbucks COO and group president, was named CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. She’s joined by ex­–Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett—a Class of 2021 Elite 100 honoree—who became TIAA’s new president and CEO. Before 2021, only one Black woman, Xerox’s Ursula Burns, had ever helmed a major US corporation (aside from Mary Winston, who served as Bed Bath & Beyond’s interim chief). Both Brewer and Duckett are running Fortune 100 companies, whereas most of the 41 female CEOs on the Fortune 500 are concentrated in the bottom half of the list.

Despite these historic milestones and the important gains made in senior leadership, Black women continue to face a concrete ceiling—one at which they are slowly chipping away. In the C-suite, women of color (Black, Asian, and Latinx) represent a mere 4 percent, up from 3 percent the previous year, according to a new study, “Women in the Workplace 2021,” from McKinsey & Company and This is in comparison to white men (62 percent), white women (20 percent), and men of color (13 percent). Figures are slightly higher for women of color at the senior executive level: 7 percent for VPs and 5 percent for SVPs.

The McKinsey report also points to a disconnect between companies’ growing commitment to racial equity following social justice movements in 2020. Women of color still face discrimination and frequent microaggressions in the workplace, as well as lacking mentorship and advancement pathways—even from companies or individuals that present themselves as allies.

While we must continue to recognize these ongoing challenges, it is also important to honor the Black women who have toppled barriers and risen to the upper echelons of their organizations. Black women are transforming obstacles into opportunities and blazing new trails, as our Elite 100 demonstrate. Progress is happening, but the work to create lasting change is far from complete. And if anyone claims it’s too challenging to find qualified Black women leaders for the C-suite or boards, all they need to do is look at this list. Please join us in honoring this year’s class of 2022 Elite 100. DW


Carolyn M. Brown is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and playwright who has produced content spanning across a portfolio of platforms, including print, digital media, broadcast, theater arts, and custom events.




Nominations for the Class of 2023

If you would like to nominate an extraordinary Black woman executive for the Class of 2023, please email:

Please include your nominee’s bio and corporate communications or media team’s contact information.

Join the Diversity Woman Community

Join a network of career-oriented women and use the member directory to see all the members in your community and find world class mentors. Access exclusive leadership development packages to help you achieve your career goals. Work With Coaches. Take Career Development Courses, and much more.