Business Ethics Award Honors Local Companies

Posted: October 24, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

The Business Ethics Awards, established by the Society of Financial Service Professionals in 1994, recognize businesses outside the financial services industry that demonstrate the highest level of ethical business practice. For the first time, the society’s Greater Washington and Northern Virginia chapters are offering the award to honor local businesses, and George Mason is the cosponsor of the first National Capital Business Ethics Award.

George Mason participated every step of the award process, from researching and verifying the nominees’ applications to selecting the finalists with the assistance of Shannon Skousgaard and her students in a one-credit internship course on business ethics. The course allowed the students to “experience different corporate cultures and see American business in all its variety,” says Skousgaard, professor of philosophy and religious studies and member of the award’s judging panel.

“Intellectual life is about life itself, about what it means to be a person,” says Skousgaard. “In its affiliation with the National Capital Business Ethics Award, George Mason proclaims that what we do here in the university is–in important and meaningful ways–about the way we live our daily life and, in this case, business and professional life.”

To be eligible for the award, companies must clearly demonstrate their executive-level commitment to business ethics through speeches and other correspondence and communications from the CEO and other senior officers. Businesses must also have a corporate code of ethics or mission statement that communicates the company’s requirement for honesty, integrity, and compliance with the law in all business dealings. Of the 60 companies nominated for the award, the field has been narrowed to six finalists. An awards banquet will be held Nov. 15 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tyson’s Corner.

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