Ursula Burns, First Female African-American CEO Of Fortune 500 Company Xerox: “There’s A Tidal Wave [Of Women] Coming”

 @MayaErgas
on June 14 2013 8:56 AM
  • Ursula
    Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox, attends an interview at the New York Times Center in New York City April 13. Reuters
  • Burns
    Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox, attends an interview at the New York Times Center in New York City April 13. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
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Already declared one of the world’s most powerful women, Ursula Burns, the chairman and CEO of Xerox, said that there is “a tidal wave of women business leaders coming.”

Burns, 50, herself the first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, told the audience during her address at the Prism awards fundraiser lunch at New York University that the business world “would be silly” to ignore the large and growing pool of “talented women in America colleges," the Daily Mail reports.

Burns also lamented the lack of progress of bringing women up to the executive levels of more corporations. “Basically, there’s been no progress,” she said, according to the Huffington Post. “In some ways, we're stuck. We will get unstuck, because there will be a way that we can't stop it from happening.”

She also addressed the swirling discussion around Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” about women in the workplace. Burns said career women need to “be the best at what you do and work hard. ... They think you can get to this end [the executive offices] just participating nine to five.”

Burns herself started as an intern at Xerox and worked her way up. She took the reigns of the company on July 1, 2009, after being widely credited with helping previous CEO Anne Mulcahy with saving the sinking company.

MIT also announced on Friday that Burns had been elected to a five-year term as a member of the MIT Corporation.

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