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A Historic Succession at Xerox

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A Historic Succession at Xerox

This is a very interesting article about how a workforce had to open its door to diversity and how far one woman was able to take that opportunity. Diversity is the differences among people in age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and capabilities/disabilities (page 145). This opened the doors for Ursula M. Burns at Xerox when she first started as an intern at the company. It has always been a big struggle having women move up in the work field and even harder if she was of a different race and ethnicity. But now it's more common to have a racial and ethnic diversity of the workforce. "The racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. population is increasing at an exponential rate, as the composition of the workforce" (page 148). Yet this come at a price for Ursula, she still has many struggles with Xerox as the times change and we become less dependent on paper. Good

1. Why was the succession of Ursula Burns to the top position at Xerox considered historic?

Ursula Burns was the first African-American woman to lead a major U.S. corporation and the first female CEO to take the reins from another women in a company. Executives were impressed with her inside and outside knowledge and technical prowess. She seemed to be welling to take any risk to better the company. Burns is a Xerox veteran, coming in as an intern to later joining the team full-time. She quickly went up the corporate ladder that was mostly done by white males. Also having and African-American female in such a high position was a great accomplishment. She helped push Xerox into color copying. Good

2. Why are there so few women and minority CEOs of large corporations?

I think there seems to be so few women and minority CEOs of large corporations because we have yet to feel that a women and/or minority can really take control of a large corporation. Or better yet I don't think many are still not comfortable with having a women and/or minority as the face of a large corporation. It's been a custom to have white males as the 'leaders" for many years and has been hard to let that go. I also believe the person stepping down from the position wants to have someone "like" them to replace them and if it's a man then they would want a man to come in. We as people don't always do so well with change. Tending to believe if it's not broken don't fix it so having women and/or minorities come changes things I think too much for people to want to accept. Good thinking.

There are many reasons for this, but stereotyping and the same-as-me effect account for a good deal of it. Stereotyped beliefs about the work ethic, reliability, suitability, and competence of members of ethnic groups other than whites have often played an unconscious role in overlooking or diminishing their contributions to organizational success, so that they are overlooked for additional responsibilities and promotions. Further, since



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