Change will not come naturally to corporate boards without diversity quotas, according to Ursula M. Burns, the former chairman and CEO of Xerox. She was the first Black female chief executive of a Fortune 500 company.
“I was dead set against quotas, but now I think quotas are absolutely, positively acceptable,” Burns said in a keynote panel for the California Conference for Women. “They’re the punishment that you get when you don’t do the right thing by yourself.”
She noted how a change in the Golden State’s laws spurred the naming of female directors, in a conversation with California first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who helped found gender equity nonprofit California Partners Project, directed the documentary film “Miss Representation,” and moderated the panel. Burns pointed out that public companies in California were quick to find women for their directorships when it was mandated by law in 2018, despite previously insisting that there is too little female talent in the pipeline.
Author(s): Sarah Min
Publication Date: 5 March 2021
Publication Site: ai-CIO