Ursula Burns, who became the first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, said she never bought into the narrative that women lift a heavier burden when balancing a career and a household. The history-maker believes she could not have achieved such a high level of success had she not “outsourced” the caring of her children with trusted members of her village.
During an interview with CNBC’s “Make It,” Burns, the former CEO for Xerox, said her late husband Lloyd Bean was instrumental in the caretaking of their two children, Melissa and Malcolm Bean, as she scaled the corporate ladder and after accepting the top executive position at the company in 2009.Sponsored by USAA BankSponsored VideoWatch to learn more
Burns served in the C-Suite at Xerox from 2009 to 2016. When the company was divided into two corporate entities, Xerox and Conduent, she became the business’ chairman, staying in that role until 2017.
In her capacity as the top executive, she was also appointed by President Barack Obama to head up the White House National STEM program to promote STEM-related careers to students (2009) and later appointed as vice chair of the President’s Export Council (2015).
Simultaneously, Burns served on the boards of directors of other companies, including Uber, American Express, and ExxonMobil, leading Forbes magazine to name her as one of the top 25 most powerful women in the world.
With so many leadership roles, Burns and her husband worked out a system that worked for them. Bean retired early from his job as a research scientist at Xerox and Burns decided that she didn’t have to be, nor could she be, the supermom or a “helicopter mom.”
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