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Fortune magazine has ranked Julie Sweet No. 1 on its Most Powerful Women in Business list.
And we can think of several reasons why she took the top spot. Julie led our multibillion-dollar company through the COVID-19 pandemic, while simultaneously redefining Accenture’s growth model, strategy, purpose and brand—all in her first year as CEO.
That’s reason enough for the recognition, but this year, Fortune took into account a new dimension in its ranking criteria with the question: “Is the leader using their influence to shape the company and the wider world for the better?”
We agree the answer is a resounding yes, with Julie using her platform as CEO to put an even greater focus on critically important issues such as sustainability and racial equality while helping clients navigate the changes of a post-COVID environment and transform their businesses in a way that benefits all.
“Our new purpose is to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity. And our new brand campaign is, ‘Let there be Change,’ because we have only one choice, and that is to embrace change and make it for the benefit of all,” Julie explained in an interview with Fortune CEO Alan Murray. “I believe most companies and governments today are accepting that choice and challenge, and taking it on as a huge opportunity to reinvent and accelerate the benefits by rebuilding differently.”
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"We have only one choice, and that is to embrace change and make it for the benefit of all."
-Julie Sweet, Accenture CEO
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Why it matters
This recognition is a source of pride, putting the spotlight on Accenture’s purpose, our people and culture and the value we bring our clients. When one of us is recognized for excellence, we’re all recognized—that’s shared success.
“It’s an honor to be named among this group of outstanding leaders,” Julie said. “Thank you to our people around the world, as this recognition reflects their commitment, ingenuity and outstanding work every day.”
What Fortune says
In naming Julie to the list, Fortune notes how she “steered Accenture’s more than half a million employees in 51 countries through the pandemic, a crisis that has made the company’s skills more essential than ever.”
As Fortune’s Kristen Bellstrom writes, “When the pandemic hit, everybody had to accelerate their five-year plans into a week and a half. That’s what Accenture does.”
There are many examples of how we helped our clients persevere during the crisis and create meaningful change, such as when we helped connect the United Kingdom’s 1.2 million National Health Service workers remotely and partnered with Salesforce on contact tracing and vaccine management technology.
In addition to the “influence for the greater good” factor, Fortune also ranks its Most Powerful Women in Business using four key criteria: size and importance of each woman’s business in the global economy; health and direction of the business; arc of career; and social and cultural influence.
It’s recognition that Julie and her peers are not only great business executives, but leaders who have used their positions to shape their companies, and the wider world, for the better.
Fortune’s Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Business
- Julie Sweet, Accenture
- Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors
- Abigail Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Fidelity Investments
- Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem
- Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS
- Jane Fraser, CEO of Global Consumer Banking, President, Citi
- Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO, Google/Alphabet
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
- Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy
- Judith McKenna, President and CEO, Walmart International
Learn more about how Accenture leads through change.
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