By Gregory Pings, manager of Content Marketing for Xerox

At the White House Demo Day today on inclusive entrepreneurship, we will introduce the “Wilson Rule.” This means that that women and minorities must be among the final pool of qualified candidates for every open management position in the U.S.; and that women will be among the finalists outside the U.S.

President Barack Obama will host the Demo Day event where innovators from around the country share their individual stories. A live webcast of Demo Day will begin today (August 4) at 3:40 p.m. EST.

The Wilson Rule is named for modern day Xerox founder Joseph C. Wilson. This is the same man who committed his (then) tiny company’s resources to develop an unproven technology into the commercial powerhouse that we know as xerography. That was in 1947. Twenty years later, after witnessing racial strife in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., Wilson met with the city’s black leaders. He understood that inequality existed, and he asked how he could help.

As a result of that meeting, Wilson committed Xerox to a policy of diversity, and it’s a policy that has been affirmed, promoted and improved upon by each and every Xerox chairman since.

“Because of the leadership over a half-century ago of one man … diversity became part of our value system – part of our DNA,” Xerox chairman and CEO Ursula Burns explained. “Today, we have one of the most diverse workforces in the world. Through that diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, we gain the benefit of different ways of looking at our business – leading to innovative breakthroughs for our customers and more engaging work for our people.”

The Wilson Rule refers to more than one man’s prescient foresight; it is a testament to the people of this corporation who made it happen, and who today continue to make it happen.

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