Ursula Burns grew up poor and became the first African American female to lead a Fortune 500 company as CEO. As Madam Chairman and CEO of Xerox, she is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company.
Finding a good, older husband, says Ursula, was key to her success and ability to balance work and family demands that included long hours at the office and frequent travel. Her husband, a scientist and researcher, was twenty years older than her. Not only was he mature, “he had already gone through all this ‘growing up’ stuff,” she says, he was there for her and her children. When he retired with two young children at home, it was no problem. “So, the secret,” she says, “is to marry someone 20 years older.”