Most Powerful Women

There’s still much to be untangled about all the ways, big and small, in which the pandemic has remade our lives. But here’s what we do know: The past 18 months have radically altered the course of women’s careers. This year’s Most Powerful Women ranking illustrates that even those at the top of corporate America aren’t immune. Five of the women in our top 10 became CEOs during the pandemic, thrown into the fire of leading in a period of extreme uncertainty. Rosalind Brewer and Thasunda Brown Duckett became two of the four Black women to ever run Fortune 500 companies. For the first time, we have two women sharing a job and therefore a spot on the list, and our 2021 ranking also includes five newcomers. If there’s one thing we can learn from the women on this list, it’s that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.