Meet Thasunda Brown Duckett: The Second Black Woman to Be Named As a Fortune 500 CEO in 2021

By Duchess Magazine

Thasunda Brown Duckett: The Second Black Woman to Be Named As a Fortune 500 CEO in 2021

Age long prejudice against the black woman has prevented one too many exceptional talents from being at the frontlines of the corporative world. Thankfully, a few women have been able to shatter statusquo. TIAA’s new CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett joining Walgreen’s Roz Brewer is set to be the second Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 firm.

Come the end of March, she will be replacing Roger Ferguson, who will be stepping down. Duckett takes the helm on May 1.

She is also set to become the third-ever Black female Fortune 500 CEO.

“I have so much gratitude for all the shoulders I stand on,” Duckett said in an Instagram post.

Thasunda Brown Duckett achieved this accomplishment by being named the new CEO of The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund, CNN reports. The TIAA, is a Fortune 100 financial services organization that is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and governmental fields.

“Thasunda Brown Duckett is widely recognized as an exceptionally dynamic and inspirational leader,” said Ronald L. Thompson, who chairs the board of the $1 trillion money management firm, to CNN. “She brings invaluable experience leading and growing large, complex businesses, setting and executing strategy, improving client experience and attracting and developing talent. Equally important, she [has] a passion for financial inclusion and empowerment.”

Prior to the appointment of Duckett and Brewer, only one Black woman Ursula Burns, who ran Xerox — served as a CEO at a Fortune 500 company. Mary Winston, an interim CEO at Bed, Bath, and Beyond was also named.

Since inception of the Fortune 500 in 1955, only three Black women – four inclusive of Winston have made the list. In total, there have been only 19 Black CEOs since the list was launched.

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