Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Mother's Lessons

Mother's Lessons

More From Ursula

In this video

Burns shares her mother's wise sayings that she only appreciated when she got older.

Ursula's Biography

Cause of Choice: Change the Equation
Early Career Ambitions: Mathematician or scientist
First Job: Cashier at Woolworth's
Three Words to Describe Herself: Fearless, passionate, and fast

"I'm a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York," Ursula Burns told Fast Company in 2011. "Not a lot intimidates me." It’s a stance that has served Burns—and her Xerox Corporation colleagues and shareholders—well. Armed with engineering degrees from Columbia and NYU, she has rolled up her sleeves to reinvent the famed copier corporation for a post-copier age. Burns’s 2009 ascension, as Chief Executive Officer of Xerox and as Chairperson of its Board the following year, made her the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 Company. And in taking the Xerox reins from her mentor, predecessor and “true partner” Anne Mulcahy, she demonstrated that female leadership in the highest corporate reaches can be more than a novelty.
 
Forbes consistently rates Burns as one of the most powerful woman in the world. She’s a board director of the American Express corporation while providing leadership counsel to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the National Academy Foundation, MIT and to the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 2009, Burns was appointed by President Obama to help lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). She was appointed vice chair for the President's Export Council in March 2010. 

Related Videos

Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour
International War Correspondent & Author

Christiane Amanpour is a world renowned war correspondent and news anchor. She is currently CNN’s Chief International Correspondent and Anchor of Amanpour, a nightly foreign ...

Tavi Gevinson
Tavi Gevinson
Fashion Blogger & Feminist

At age 11, Tavi Gevinson shocked the fashion world when her blog, Style Rookie, became one of the most popular online style guides. A mere four years later, she is a notable and st...

Bonnie Schaefer
Bonnie Schaefer
CEO & Philanthropist

Bonnie Schaefer is the former co-CEO and co-Chairman of the Board of Claire’s Stores, Inc., the leading international costume jewelry and accessories retailer for tweens, tee...

Cherríe Moraga
Cherríe Moraga
Writer & Playwright

Cherríe Moraga is a playwright, poet, and essayist whose plays and publications have received national recognition for her unique and personal perspective as a Chicana/Anglo...