Leading By Example
The first thing you need to know about Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP, is she is a fierce competitor. The next is that she is a committed leader and mentor.
Story By: Diane Alter
One of eight children, including five spirited brothers, Cathy has been competing since birth. When her three older brothers headed outdoors to play basketball, Cathy was always the fourth in a heated game of 2-on-2. During her senior year at Lehigh University, she captained the girls’ basketball and lacrosse teams. Those childhood and collegiate games taught her the value of competition and teamwork at a formative time in her life.
Cathy started at Lehigh studying engineering. On the advice of an inspiring professor, she transferred to the university’s business school and took up accounting, where she felt a greater connection to the subject matter. “I was drawn to accounting because I was told it was the language of business and would guarantee me a job when I graduated,” Cathy told Latino Leaders.
Following graduation, Cathy landed a position at Deloitte’s Philadelphia office. Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.
Cathy has had several careers during her three decades at the Deloitte. She’s worked in the life sciences industry, the audit and advisory practices, has advised multinational companies, and has held multiple leadership roles. “I have spent my career taking risks and building my capabilities, working with clients across the country in a wide range of industries,” she explained. “These experiences were critical in my development as a leader.”
Becoming the leader of an organization with a head count of over 70,000 was not Cathy’s goal. Yet she always aspired to be a leader. She credits the mentorship and sponsorship she received during her career for helping her get to the top. She also recognizes the importance of paying that forward.
“I’ve learned that mentorship is key for personal and professional development,” Cathy shared. “My mentors provided great advice throughout my career and my sponsors were behind closed doors, pounding the tables for me. Now it is my turn to do that for others.”
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