Whistleblowing services on the agenda at Business Ethics Day
Last week I had the privilege of speaking at the Business Ethics Day 2020, as the only provider of whistleblowing services in the panel discussion. The theme of the event, which was held digitally, was The rise of the speak-up culture, a theme that is close to our hearts at WhistleB. Indeed, the very reason we founded WhistleB was because we saw a gap in the market for a secure whistleblowing service through which a whistleblower can report anonymously – and remain anonymous during follow-up and investigations.
We have always believed that without anonymity employees will remain reluctant to speak up about suspected ethical misconduct that they witness. Without a speak-up culture major misconduct may go undetected for far longer than necessary by those who can stop it. And undetected misconduct costs organisations greatly in terms of reputation, profits and people.
Business Ethics Day 2020 was hosted by Nordic Business Ethics Network and we speakers focused on what organisations can and should be doing to create a speak-up culture. Other presenters included Michaela Ahlberg, a lawyer and advocate for business ethics who has overseen the ethics & compliance programmes at companies such as Nokia, Volvo Cars, Telia Company and Getinge. We also heard the personal story of a real-life whistleblower who dared to speak up about his employer. Suzanne Innes-Stubb, Head of Global Compliance at KONE Corporation spoke about building the trust required to foster a speak-up culture and the challenges of doing so in a multinational and multicultural setting.
For my part, I spoke about the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, its aim of encouraging a speak-up culture, and the practicalities of setting up compliant whistleblowing services. I was then part of a panel discussion on the benefits and challenges of whistleblowing channels and employee data protection.
It wasn’t so long ago that whistleblowing was still greatly stigmatised. Today it has a place on the agenda alongside business ethics and sustainability. The new EU directive is further driving the view of whistleblowing services as a key ingredient in fostering a speak-up culture. To the WhistleB team, this feels like testimony that the journey we started on some 15 years ago – to create a modern, secure and anonymous whistleblowing service – was the right one.
Go to our website for more information about WhistleB’s whistleblowing service, or feel to contact us.