BIPOC and women employees ranked their CEOs: These were the top 10 for 2021

These leaders earned high marks based on 10 million anonymous ratings from women and BIPOC employees at more than 60,000 companies.

BIPOC and women employees ranked their CEOs: These were the top 10 for 2021
[Source Images: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels; Tanya Ferrera/Pixabay]

A full year after all the corporate pledges and proclamations to increase equity in 2020, employees at over 60,000 companies rated their leaders. After all, a culture of inclusion and belonging starts at the top.


Specifically, Comparably polled employees of color to find out which CEOs put effort behind their promises to work toward having a more equitable organization. The top 10 from companies with more than 500 employees are:

  1. Eric Yuan, Zoom Video Communications
  2. Vladimir Shmunis, RingCentral
  3. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe
  4. Dan Rosensweig, Chegg
  5. Rich Lesser, Boston Consulting Group
  6. Arvind Krishna, IBM
  7. Kenneth Lin, Credit Karma
  8. Henry Schuck, ZoomInfo
  9. Chris Caldwell, Concentrix
  10. Brian Halligan, HubSpot

This is the fourth annual survey of its kind and it’s noteworthy that after the violence against BIPOC and AAPI individuals over the past year, the rankings have shifted significantly. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella dropped from the No. 1 spot in 2020 down to No. 11 this year and Google’s Sundar Pichai fell from the No. 3 spot to No. 12. There are no female CEOs at the top of the rankings. Kumsal Bayazit of Elsevier was the closest, in 18th place, and Medela CEO Annette Brüls came next at No. 26.

And speaking of women, Comparably conducted another poll asking female employees to rank their CEOs. Here we see two female CEOs in the top 10 for large companies and some overlap with those who ranked best for diversity.

  1. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe
  2. Jeffrey Dailey, Farmers Insurance
  3. Leslie Stretch, Medallia
  4. Brian Halligan, HubSpot
  5. Sarah Friar, Nextdoor
  6. Vladimir Shmunis, RingCentral
  7. John Foley, Peloton
  8. Dan Rosensweig, Chegg
  9. Satya Nadella, Microsoft
  10. Kumsal Bayazit, Elsevier

For both surveys, the rankings were based on how many positive sentiment ratings from employees of color (non-Caucasian) or female employees the CEOs received on their effectiveness and management style. Companies that had more employees participate relative to their size were weighted for statistical significance.


About the author

Lydia Dishman is a staff editor for Fast Company's Work Life section. She has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.