Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit Day 2 Afternoon and Evening Recap

The afternoon festivities at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit kicked off with a one-on-one conversation with accomplished Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.

As the CEO of Xerox Ursula Burns is considered to be one of the most powerful business executives in the world. Not to mention, she is a woman of color. Her one-on-one conversation with Black Enterprise’s Caroline Clarke offered insight as to her journey, personal experiences, work-life balance and strategies for success.

With regard to her role at Xerox she stated, “It’s about coordination, orchestration and vision. I was never groomed to be CEO. I just did my job.” The humble CEO, who has been at Xerox for over 30 years demystified how she worked her way to the top of the company,“Every single day I wake up, and I hustle.”

Ursula provided personal advice for longevity in business which she shared with attendees. “Be good at something and then distinguish yourself, “says Ursula Burns. “Do the job you’re doing today to the best you can imagine before you do the next thing. There is NO substitute for hard work. 90% of the meet I probably wouldn’t hire, primarily because they don’t work hard.”

After Burns’ one-on-one session, a panel focused on lifestyle choices was hosted by McDonald’s (BE Healthy: Lifestyle Choices for a Creative and Competitive You) where panelists spoke about how your health and your food choices can help your creativity and competitiveness in the workplace. The panel was moderated by President of Mosaic Marketing, Rachelle Franklin; and featured M.D. Marleece Barber, Chief Medical Officer of Lockheed Martin, and Ph.D and Senior Director of Nutrition at McDonald’s, Cindy Goody.

Immediately after, the strong partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Black Enterprise continued with the panel, “Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce,” which was moderated by Sonia Alleyne and featured Founder and CEO of Pathbrite, Heather Hiles, State of Kentucky Associate Commissioner of Education Felicia Cummings Smith, and Director of Communications and Project Management at Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tracye H. Brown; who discussed how our generation will prepare the next generation of powerful women to succeed in today’s workforce.

The evening ended with two special events. The first was an awards ceremony highlighting the Top Women Executives in Advertising and Marketing, hosted by NBC/Comcast Universal, as over 50 of America’s brightest black executives were presented with awards.

Concluding the evening, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had an intimate dinner discussion with the Black Enterprise staff and the many female executives who were honored in Advertising and Marketing. The discussion centered around 5 talking points which included black community engagement in education issues, next generation models, what employers want, the role of good education in your success, and the common core and how one A grade in one school may compare to one in another school.

Another exciting day at the Women of Power Summit with more to come.


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