Guest Blogger- Derek McMahan

The February 6th Distinguished Ethics’ presentation — “What Color is my Company’s Social Responsibility?” — was a great tie in to our ethics class in the fall and our school’s constant reminder to act in ethically responsible ways. The speaker, presented by the Beard Institute, was John Buckley, the managing director of corporate social responsibility and the chief administrative officer for marketing & corporate affairs at Bank of New York Mellon.

Mr. Buckley discussed what social responsibility means to today’s companies, citing examples of what Pittsburgh leaders are currently doing and what they could do better. Social responsibility encompasses social and environmental stewardship and considers numerous stakeholders, including consumers, previous employees, the community and the environment.

More specifically, Mr. Buckley talked about social responsibility priorities at BNY Mellon, especially the central requirement for banks to ethically manage funds and offer secure loans. Since the financial crisis of 2008, he noted that acting in socially responsible ways is paramount for regaining consumer trust and ensuring a long-term, sustainable business model for the industry.

On a personal note, Mr. Buckley and Assistant Professor Paul Klein asked the audience to reflect on the question, “Who do you want to be?” – a refreshing variation on the typical “What do you want to do?” Afterwards, I knew that I wanted to work for a company that was socially responsible, and I can’t wait for that opportunity after the program.

Being the Change I Want to See,
Derek McMahan

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