This year, the Urban One Honors is celebrating the exemplary accomplishments of Black women. Rosalind Brewer, the third Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, is a 2021 honoree — and if you know “Roz,” you know she more than fits the bill.
In the spirit of ‘Women Leading the Change,’ this year Urban One will highlight the extraordinary contributions of women in business, media, health, and politics that have led to impactful change within the Black community. Brewer, currently the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance and who’s held executive positions at several multibillion-dollar companies, will be honored as Urban One’s ‘Business Alchemist.’ The award is presented to a leader who is successfully breaking the glass ceiling to blaze new trails in corporate America.
Not only is Brewer smashing right through the glass ceiling, she continues to break down doors for others as she demands diversity and inclusion on all of her teams. In 2015, during her time as CEO of Sam’s Club, Brewer told CNN she wanted to see more women “get closer to the money,” as she believes the closer women are to managing a company’s finances, the more influence women will have in corporate decisions.
In the same interview, she shared the best advice she’s received throughout her career. “The importance of having honesty and integrity. It helped me build who I am as a person — a female leader who will fight the odds, that will stay above the fray, and lead people in the right direction,” she said.
Join us in saluting a true and undeniable queen. More interesting facts about Brewer and her incredible career thus far, below. Also, be sure to tune into the Urban One Honors Sunday, May 16 on CLEO TV.
1. Rosalind hails from Motor City.Source:Getty
The powerhouse exec was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan as the youngest of 5 children. She and her siblings were their family’s first generation of college students.
“When you’re from the midwest, all you ever see is hard work,” she told CNN in the aforementioned interview. “So that work ethic has stayed with me over the years and I’ve just never seen anything different and it’s in my personal DNA.”
2. Speaking of higher learning, she graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor’s in chemistry.Source:Getty
Rosalind also went on to graduate from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Illinois and Stanford Law School in Cali. Additionally, she completed the Advanced Management Program at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
3. She has held executive positions at Kimberly-Clark, Sam’s Club, Starbucks, and Amazon (where she was the only Black Board of Directors member at the time).Source:Getty
Rosalind was the first African American to lead any Walmart division (as President and CEO of Sam’s Club), as well as the first African American and first woman to hold the position of COO and Group President at Starbucks.
4. When Rosalind says hard work is in her DNA, she means it.Source:Getty
It’s important to note Rosalind worked at Kimberly-Clark for 22 years, straight out of Spelman college. During her tenure at the company, she worked her way up from a research technician to president for manufacturing and global operations. Incredible.