On May 22 Ursula Burns shattered the glass ceiling at every Fortune 500 company. She became the first African American female to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company at Xerox Corporation. Rising from the ranks at Xerox, she takes over the reins from another woman. She is eager to move the company forward and break a little glass in the process.
Another African American woman also broke some glass this week. Benita Fitzgerald Mosely became the first USA Track and Field Chief of Sport Performance. She is the current CEO of Women in Cable Communications. Fitzgerald Mosely, a former Olympic gold medalist and critic of USA Track and Field performance during the 2008 Olympic games, was a member of an independent panel reviewing USA Track and Field performance. Remember the 2008 Olympic mens and womens relay dropped baton debacle, drug issues and disorganized coaching. Fitzgerald Mosely will demand higher standards.
These women were not selected because of their gender or race. They were chosen because of their superior qualifications and their ability to lead. No quotas were set for their hiring. Both are highly qualified for their respective roles. Yes, diversity and superior qualifications do co-exist. Those who think otherwise are sadly misinformed.
Congratulations to Ursula Burns and Benita Fitzgerald Mosely for busting through the glass ceiling. Ladies, we’ve come a long way. Yet we still have a long way to go. This is only the beginning.