Having diverse leadership is imperative for the future of business. As businesses are reemerging into society we are seeing continued conversation around the racial/ethnic equity in the United States and how that is reflected in executive leadership. We are seeing a distinct shift in minority CEOs as prominent figureheads in major Fortune 500 companies and underrepresented groups rising to the top of leadership. In 2021 we saw the gender gap close in leadership as women began rising to the top with 41 Fortune 500 businesses being run by women. Currently, almost 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs are predominantly white males, but we’re seeing an increase in CEO positions being held by people of color each year. While this still isn’t reflective of the rich and diverse population of America at large, we can still celebrate and commend those who are paving their own roads and building a legacy for the next generation to be proud of.
Safra Catz is the current CEO of Oracle where she has been a dynamic force and has had over 130 acquisitions during her tenure. She is an immigrant from Israel and spent her career learning law and investment banking. As one of the most powerful women in business, she has been revered for her leadership skills and praised in the same circles as Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook.
Rosewood Hotel Group
As the 30-year-old CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group, Sonia Cheng is making her mark early. Her resume includes being a Harvard graduate, where she studied applied mathematics, and working for investment banker Morgan Stanley and equity firm Warburg Pincus. At Rosewood she has transformed departments like housekeeping, human resources, sales, and marketing.
Ali Ghodsi is the co-founder and CEO of data software startup Databricks. The company is currently valued at $28 billion and was backed by industry titans like Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce in 2021. In addition to running Databricks, Ali currently serves as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and serves on the board for RiseLab.
Rene is the CEO of M&T Bank located in Buffalo, New York. He has been a champion for workplace diversity and has been vocal about large employers diversifying the pool of job candidates. This mission has been carried out in his own company, which has been recruiting candidates from historically Black colleges and universities.
Bain & Company
Manny Maceda is widely recognized as one of the most prominent and influential Asian business leaders in the United States. Maceda is the worldwide managing partner of Bain, which is a global consultancy that operates worldwide. As the first Asian leader in Bain’s history, Maceda has continued to lead Bain in being a strategic company for management consulting.
Satya Nadella is a well-known CEO who has spent the majority of his career working up the ranks at Microsoft. Nadella is originally from Hyderabad, India and worked for Sun Microsystems and the Microsoft Business Division. He has held leadership roles in enterprise and consumer business around the company and has been known for transforming Microsoft’s product offerings.
Lisa Su is a Tawainesse business executive who has worked at prominent engineering companies like IBM and Texas instruments. As the CEO and president of AMD, she has been at the forefront of strategy, execution, and marketing focus that has made it a leader in computer processing. In 2019 she was named one of the world’s best CEOs and one of the “most powerful women in business” by Fortune Magazine.