The Majlis of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, last night hosted a lecture titled, "How we build a culture of containment, leadership and equality", by the CEO and Chairwoman of the Xerox Corporation, Ursula Burns.
The lecture was attended by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, senior officials, and members of the diplomatic corps in the UAE.
Burns began her lecture with a vote of thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for hosting the lecture at his Majlis.
She emphasised the importance of diversity in different organisations and the need to hire people of different ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, as well as the need to empower women and to encourage education.
Burns lauded the efforts made by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood for the development of UAE women.
She also commended the establishment of the Gender Balance Council, chaired by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Burns said the UAE government had attached great importance to the active engagement of women in society and referred to the appointment of Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), as the first woman minister in the UAE.
She recounted her experience when she became the first African-American woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
After assuming the office of CEO previously held by Anne M. Mulcahy, she also became the first woman to succeed another woman in a Fortune 500 company. Burns has been featured multiple times by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. In 2014, she was listed as the 22nd. Burns also holds positions on the board of directors for the Exxon Mobil Corporation as well as the American Express Corporation.
Outside of her corporate endeavours, Burns is an advocate of education for women pursuing careers in STEM fields. The organisations she works with include the National Academy Foundation, MIT, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the U.S. Olympic Committee and many more. Her commitment to education has inspired her to co-found the organisation, Change the Equation, which focusses on improving educational programmes in the United States for STEM, (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.