Thasunda Brown: Second Black Woman Leading A Fortune 500 Company

Thasunda Brown: second black woman leading a Fortune 500 company

Thasunda Brown became the first black woman CEO of TIAA and becoming the second black woman leading a Fortune 500 company in 2021. She became the CEO of Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity Association named JPMorgan. So she became the second black woman leading Fortuna 500 company since Ursula Burns left Xerox in 2016. Reports show that for the past four years, no company on the Fortune 500 had been led by a Black female CEO. on Thursday, the retirement and investment manager TIAA named Thasunda Brown Duckett as the current CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. This made her the third-ever Black woman to be a full-time Fortune 500 chief and second announced in 2021. Thasunda Brown Ducket said, “I often think about the day my father asked me to help him plan his retirement, and I held to tell him, Dad your pension is not enough. Now, thanks to his work and sacrifices and the support of many others who have guided me throughout my life and career, I am blessed to join TIAA”. 

Thasunda Brown: Second Black Woman Leading A Fortune 500 Company

Duckett has experience in managing a banking network with more than $600 billion in deposits across 4,900 branches with more than 40,000 employees. Ronald L. Thompson, Chairman of the TIAA Board of Trustees said, “Thasunda is widely recognized as an exceptionally dynamic and inspirational leader. 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 is deeply mission-oriented, with values that reflect those of TIAA, including a passion for financial inclusion and empowerment”.

Thasunda Brown: second black woman leading a Fortune 500 company

Corporations have come under growing pressure to diversify their leadership bench

After the nationwide protest over the killing of George Floyd, corporations have come under great pressure from employees, investors, and activists to diversify their leadership bench. Also, the reports show that the number of Black CEOs declined over the last five years as Black CEOs step down. 

Thasunda Brown Duckett wrote on her LinkedIn about the importance of addressing the wealth gap for Black families, “we must take an unvarnished look at the stark and persistent disparities in wealth for Black Americans today, created largely by centuries of systemic racism. And we have courageous conversations about being Black in America”. 

Currently, there are 40 female CEOs in the group and there will be 41 when Duckett starts her new role on May 1. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) is No. 81 on the list and has $1.1 trillion in assets under management in 2019 and $40 billion in revenue that year. It’s notable that both Black women serving as Fortune 500 chiefs, Thasunda Brown Duckett and Brewer will be in the Fortune 100.    


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