UCC conference to focus on women’s leadership in business

One of the world’s most powerful businesswomen will discuss women leadership in business at an invite-only conference in UCC today.

Third-generation Irish-American Kathleen Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments, a global financial services group with millions of individual investors, will deliver her address ahead of receiving an honorary doctorate from the university tomorrow.

Ms Murphy, a 25-year industry veteran, whose father’s family is from Cork and whose mother’s family is from Kerry, oversees a business with more than $1.5tn in client assets under administration, more than 14m customer accounts and over 12,000 employees.

Fidelity is America’s number one provider of individual retirement accounts, one of the country’s largest brokerage businesses and one of the leading providers of college savings plans.

Her role also involves managing the firm’s brand and advertising programmes and its online and mobile presence.

She is an occasional guest on the CNBC news channel and has delivered TED talks.

She has been repeatedly named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune magazine, ranked alongside Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo chief executive officer Marissa Mayer.

And she has also been named as one of the “Wall Street Top 50” and “Business 100” by Irish America magazine and named by US Banker as one of the “25 most powerful women in finance”.

She will speak to an invited audience later about her experience of leadership in business and take questions from the floor before attending a reception at the Hayfield Manor hotel.

UCC has a long association with Fidelity Investments dating back 20 years.

Fidelity has commissioned research projects from the university and offers work placements to students of the Business Information Systems programme in UCC’s College of Business and Law. Some of the students now work full-time with the company.

Ms Murphy will be among four people to receive honorary doctorates at UCC tomorrow.

She will be honoured alongside political scientist and author Prof Benedict Anderson, the Aaron L Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government and Asian Studies at Cornell University in New York, who is known for his groundbreaking book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism — a book which explores what makes people love and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name; composer, accordionist, performer and author Pauline Oliveros, a leading figure in contemporary American music; and Prof Dinesh Singh, vice chancellor at Delhi University, who has reformed the and improved the student experience and the relevance of university to employers, students and the wider community.

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