Successful Business Women Part 2: Xerox CEO Ursula Burns
“Dreams do come true, but not without the help of others, a good education, a strong work ethic…” – Ursula Burns
As the first African American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, from 2010 to 2016 Ursula Burns managed to take Xerox from a paper copy place into a profitable business. She recently stepped down when the company decided to split into two entities, a $7 billion business process outsourcing company and an $11 billion document technology company which she was named CEO.
So how did she achieve so much success? Growing up with a single mom in a rough housing project in Manhattan, people often told Burns that she had three strikes against her – she was black, a girl, and poor. Luckily her mom was wise and reminded her that where she didn’t define who she was or would become, and her mom worked hard to send her to good private schools knowing education would be the ticket out. At that time the career paths most likely for her were teacher, nurse, or nun.
Clearly, these did not work for her. In fact, she wanted to be an engineer, and worked hard until suddenly she was offered a spot at a Brooklyn college…no big deal, it was just in an unfamiliar area, with mostly white males, and a ton of catch-up classes to start her out. No pressure! But once she settled on mechanical engineering and fell in love with it, she had the passion to keep moving forward.
She then had the opportunity to intern with Xerox, then moved on to a graduate degree at an Ivy League school, got a job with Xerox, and worked her way to the top. In the last few years, Burns signed a major acquisition which is how she transformed Xerox into a tech and services enterprise.
We Create the World
With education, self-respect, and confidence to not be afraid to fail, kids should be encouraged to dream big and learn that this world is what we make it, and whatever you think you deserve, you can have.
If you’re making your dreams come true today with a business, large or small, that makes you proud, spread encouragement to the younger generations, to your kids or your friend’s kids!
When you’re ready to take your business to the next level and need a financial boost, contact us and we’ll be glad to put something together – merchant cash advance, simple business loan, a line of credit, or something else that will fit your needs.