Became first African American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Growing up in poverty and a single-parent household in Manhattan’s lower east side, Ursula Burns knew the value of hard work. After joining Xerox as an engineering intern in 1980, she worked her way up to becoming CEO in 2009. President Barack Obama asked her to lead the White House National STEM program, to improve student participation and performance. She also founded Change the Equation, a not-for-profit programme aiming to boost STEM education for young people, and remains an active campaigner for diversity in boardrooms.