When most people picture CEOs of huge companies, they picture men in dark suits carrying briefcases, talking into a headset that makes it seem like they are talking to themselves. But there are several important women CEOs (in case you’re not familiar, CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer, and is the person who is in charge of the entire company and is even higher than the president!) out there who prove that this stereotype isn’t true! And one of the newest women to do so is Ursula Burns, who was recently appointed CEO of Xerox, the company that makes Xerox photocopying machines. Ursula isn’t just a woman CEO, though. She is the first ever African American woman CEO of a Top 500 Company (which just means it’s one of the Top 500 most influential companies around). This is a big deal! Also, Xerox is the first Top 500 Company to have back to back female CEOs, since the CEO before Ursula was Anne Mulcahy, who chose Ursula to replace her several years ago.
Even with the good news about Ursula Burns, the number of female CEOs in the Top 500 remains constant at 15. 15 out of 500?! That’s a pretty low number. And even this number is up from only eight in 2005. But having female CEOs is not only just a good step for women’s rights, but it’s also good business! A couple studies have shown that “companies with more women corporate officers and board directors, on average, financially outperform those with the fewest.” So, if companies with more businesswomen make more money, why are there still so few women in the Top 500? Hopefully these numbers will be changing in the future! And who knows, maybe you’ll be one of them!