Accenture CEO Julie Sweet and General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra top the new 2020 list of Fortune's Most Powerful Women in Business, which was released Monday.
Because of the multiple crises marking this year -- the pandemic, economic shocks, an overdue reckoning with racial injustice and climate change disasters -- the criteria to determine who should make the top 50 list was expanded this year.
"Simply put, 2020 is the year when we said a final goodbye to business as usual," Fortune writers noted in their introduction to the list.
So, in addition to considering the size and health of a woman leader's business in the global economy, her social and cultural influence, and the arc of her career, Fortune added a new element: how individual women leaders were using their power and influence to shape their companies and the world for the better.
Sweet takes the No. 1 spot for running a professional services firm with more than half a million employees in 51 countries who are helping clients figure out the "new world order." The firm gets the majority of its revenue from clients in the cloud, digital and security businesses. And, as Covid-19 hit, "the company tapped into that expertise to help connect the UK's 1.2 million National Health Service workers remotely and to partner with Salesforce on contact tracing and vaccine management technology," Fortune noted.
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