On Monday, Cathy Engelbert made history. As the next CEO of professional services firm Deloitte, Engelbert will become the first female U.S. CEO of a “Big Four” firm. Formerly chairman and CEO of the audit subsidiary of Deloitte, Engelbert joined the company in 1986. She will be in charge of will take charge of the company’s 65,000 employees and $15 billion in annual revenue.
Fortune caught up with her to hear about her plans for the future and her thoughts on leadership.
What’s it like to be the first to achieve something?
It is a proud moment and a milestone. To the extent that I can be a role model for diverse leaders at Deloitte, I love it. This is a tangible demonstration of our commitment at Deloitte to the advancement of women. I have gotten so many emails today from our women — and men — who really believe that we have an inclusive culture as proven through my election.
Why is it important for women lower down the pipeline to see leaders like yourself on top?
Women and minorities account for about 66% of our new hires, so we clearly want to make sure that our inclusive culture is developing them into leaders and be successors to our top leaders. As you think about the workforce of the future, women and minorities are such an important part of that future. I see it in our clients as well: There are more women in the C-Suite and in the boardroom. I know, as The Broadsheet talks about, we are not where we need to be and we have a lot of work to do, but I am really optimistic.
What has Deloitte done to ensure an inclusive culture?
女性和少数群体占德勤新招聘人数的66%左右，所以我们希望确保我们的包容性文化能够将他们培养成领导者和高层继任者。当考虑未来 的劳动力时，你需要清楚女性与少数群体将占有举足轻重的地位。我从客户身上也发现了这一点：客户公司的高层和董事会也出现了越来越多的女性。我知道，正如 新闻简报栏目The Broadsheet所说，我们距离我们期望的目标还有很远的距离，我们还有许多工作要做，但我真的非常乐观。
We always strive to pick the best person for the job regardless of gender or ethnicity, but in order to ensure that our women and minorities are advancing, it is about sponsorship. It is about those partners that sat in that room and when an opportunity came up for a capability that I wasn’t strong in, offering me the role. That is the culture at Deloitte: To make sure we are all maximizing the capabilities that we have.
You joined Deloitte in 1986. What is the single biggest change you’ve seen within the company?
Our businesses have changed over that time because our clients have changed. We need to match up with how our clients have evolved. I come from a family of eight children. I had five brothers, and I went to a male-dominated university [Lehigh University.] Back in 1986, the public accounting profession was very male-dominated. As I think about the change, we have evolved enormously and [the number of] women in leadership ranks are up considerably. I am proud of that and part of that now.
If you could only ask one question of a job candidate, what would it be?
随着客户的变化，我们的业务也一直在变化。我们需要适应客户的发展。我来自一个有八个孩子的家庭。我有五个兄弟，我就读的是一所男 生居多的大学——理海大学。在1986年，公共会计职业还是男性的天下。说到变化，我们的变化巨大，管理层中的女性数量显著增加。对此我感到非常骄傲，现 在我也成为领导者之一。
I like to ask what they think the Fortune 500 will look five to ten years from now. My favorite question is around that pace of change and really being a futurist and asking people questions about what they see their business evolving to in the future.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
To take some risks in my career and do some different things. I wouldn’t be a CEO today if I didn’t do different things to build capabilities and build experiences because to come a leader you need varied experiences. So the people throughout my career who said, “Don’t stand still, take risks and take on new responsibilities and opportunities,” they were absolutely right.
在职业发展过程中勇于冒风险，做一些不同的事情。如果我没有通过做一些不同的事情来培养能力和积累经验，我今天便不可能成为 CEO，因为要成为领导者，你必须具备各方面的经验。在我的职业生涯中，一直有人对我说：“不要固步自封，要勇于冒险，敢于迎接新的责任和机遇。”他们说 得非常正确。(财富中文网)