By Chauncey Alcorn | CNN Business | February 20, 2021
Kamala Harris isn’t the only Black woman making history in 2021.
The January 20 swearing-in of the nation’s first woman, Black and southeast Asian vice president came at a pivotal moment for Black women in the business world, which up until recently has failed miserably to increase the number of Black executives — male and female — in its ranks.
In 2018, only 3.3% of all US corporate executive and senior leadership positions were filled by Black people. Not much has changed since then, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
To date, there have been only 19 Black CEOs — 17 men and two women — in the entire history of the list, which was first published in Fortune magazine in 1955. Incoming Walgreen’s CEO Rosalind Brewer will be added on March 15, when she becomes just the third Black woman to serve as a Fortune 500 CEO.
But experts say there currently aren’t enough Black women in the c-suite pipeline at most major companies to narrow the gap between Black and White women, who are also underrepresented in executive leadership.
In honor of Black History Month, CNN Business asked three of the highest ranked Black women in corporate America to reflect on their career journeys and offer advice to those looking to follow in their footsteps.