“I have more money than my mother would have ever imagined, and I still don’t judge my success by that.” ~ Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox

Summary: Ursula M. Burns is an American business leader who has been Chairwoman of Xerox since 2010, and was Xerox CEO from 2009 to 2016. Burns was the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. In 1980, Burns first worked for Xerox as a summer intern, permanently joining a year later, in 1981, after completing her master’s degree. Burns also provides leadership counsel to community, educational and non-profit organizations including FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, MIT, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, among others. She is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the U.S.’s education system in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Burns to help lead the White House National program on STEM and in 2009 and in March 2010 appointed Burns as vice chair of the President’s Export Council. In December 2016, Burns stepped down as CEO while retaining the title of Chairwoman.She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company, having succeeded Anne Mulcahy as CEO of Xerox. In 2014, Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world. 

Nationality: African-American

Company: Xerox

Q: What’s advice you give to females in the workforce? on time.com

A: I say this to women all the time, particularly women trying to get into STEM, I guarantee you you will be the minority in the room. And instead of that being a burden, it should be an opportunity for you, to distinguish yourself. All of us now are pioneers. Every one of us.