Most Big-Company Women CEOs Are Also Mothers, Book Finds; ‘You Plan Not to Have Guilt’

Ursula Burns joined a rare breed when she took command of Xerox Corp. in July 2009: She became just the 22nd woman ever to run a Fortune 500 company.

What isn’t so rare is that she’s a mom. In fact, all but two members of the female CEO elite at big U.S. businesses have motherhood in common. The finding, uncovered by author Douglas Branson, throws a curveball at the “mommy track” idea, and the belief that women must choose between being mothers and reaching the corner office. “You have a better chance of being a mother and becoming a company CEO than you did 15 years ago,” says Mr. Branson, a University of Pittsburgh law professor whose new book, “The Last Male Bastion,” examines female chief executives.

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