NEW YORK—Hundreds of new rules and regulations have been signed into law during the past few years in hopes of putting an end to the recent plague of corporate scandals, but there is one factor affecting all multinational corporations on a daily basis that neither Congress nor the SEC will be able to control, according to Cathleen Ellsworth (GBA ’93), a managing director at First Reserve Corp and recipient of the Fordham Women in Business 2005 Distinguished Alumnae Award.
“You cannot regulate character,” Ellsworth told an audience of business leaders and students on Oct. 21, at the 8th Annual Fordham Women in Business conference at Lincoln Center campus. The daylong event, “The Role of Grace: The Changing Horizon of Business Ethics,” highlighted accomplishments of businesswomen and strategies successful women use for dealing with ethical issues in corporate America.
“It starts at the top,” Ellsworth said. “If you work for a place that you feel pressure to do things that are not consistent with your character, you’re not going to be happy or productive and you won’t be successful.”
At the end of the day, she added, a company’s productivity relies on the integrity of the chain of command that keeps it operating.
Ellsworth and keynote speaker Ellen Alemany (GBA ’80), president and CEO of CitiCapital, were among those who shared their experiences, insights and advice on how to be effective leaders and how to deal with the challenges of the new global economy. The conference, which included interactive workshops and breakout sessions, ended with a networking cocktail reception in the Time Warner Center. The annual conference was sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Financial Comfort, Women’s Bond Club and Fordham Women in Business.
Fordham’s Graduate School of Business Administration was established in 1969 and has been recognized nationally for the quality, innovation and comprehensiveness of its programs, which prepare graduates for global competition. The school’s part-time MBA program is ranked 19th by U.S. News & World Report.