Ursula Burns is tired of corporate America making excuses for not hiring more black executives
Burns herself has resisted calls for diversity quotas at major companies throughout her distinguished career, which includes serving as chief executive of Xerox from 2010 to 2016. But after seeing no black women CEOs follow in her footsteps and only four black male Fortune 500 CEOs in the four years since stepping down from Xerox, Burns has been reevaluating her viewpoint.
“How many more years do you say to the people who have been excluded: ‘Just hold on. Give them 10 more years. They’ll get there,'” she said. “Another generation kind of goes by the wayside of people who can be helpful, who can increase shareholder value, who can represent the stakeholders and create a just corporate America.”
Burns said her phone has been ringing off the hook since the murder of George Floyd three weeks ago, as white executives at major companies reach out to her for advice on how to address issues of racism and diversity within their organizations.