It’s a Beautiful Corporate World : Fair and Just!
So our quest continues to identify and address gender issues in the ever-so-glorified corporate offices. This includes gender as well as racial discrimination.
This discrimination happens globally. When it comes to harassment specifically, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimates that one in three complaints it handles includes a harassment allegation. But the body also believes that 75% of all workplace harassment incidents go unreported. From these and other psychologically focused studies, we know that the two main reasons people do not speak up about misconduct are fear of retaliation and an expectation that nothing will be done. In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, we also understand that shame and cultural norms contribute to allowing sexual harassment to go unreported.
Some women and girls speak up, who stand on their grounds and who provide solutions to this problem – are there enough listening ears?
Let’s talk about VAULT PLATFORM: The solution for workplace harassment.
When it comes to exposing and resolving harassment, no matter how good the intentions, well-meaning initiatives to encourage openness and transparency often fall short for two key reasons:
· Fear of consequences – embarrassment, isolation, low-performance ratings, lost promotions, and even firing!
· A sense of futility – the belief that saying something won’t make a difference, so why bother?
Vault Platform addresses these challenges with a modern and highly accessible solution encouraging female employees to speak up in confidence. A Resolution Hub must be created that helps investigators efficiently document and respond to incidents, closing the loop with employees, and getting to resolution as quickly as possible.
HOW THE VAULT PLATFORM HELPS YOUR COMPANY PREVENT WORKPLACE HARASSMENT
Vault Platform solution has more than meets the eye. We have to be Ready to revolutionize misconduct reporting and resolution in our businesses. We should be keen to create an ethical and compliant culture built for the enterprise, designed for humans.
Whether we like it or not, bribery (of any kind) plays rampant in most organisations – male employees, even in senior positions, are found to be more involved in such practice than females. Females who know and see any misconduct happening in any form should feel free and safe to report such activities. In all honesty, the receiving end of such complaints should be a just human – male or female. The concentrations should be to Reduce and finally mitigate Bribery & Corruption
The vast majority of bribery and corruption incidents go unreported. According to the EU’s 2017 Special Eurobarometer on Corruption 81% of employees did not report corruption that they experienced.
· Remove disincentives to reporting by demonstrating consequences for the perpetrators and protection for those who report.
· Less than 50% of workers know where to raise their concerns and they should be trained to do so without fear.
· Practising Vault Platform helps businesses create a robust internal reporting process that demonstrates corruption will not be tolerated.
Whistleblowing & Regulation
Businesses have increasingly stringent regulations to comply with when it comes to whistleblowing and internal reporting of misconduct.
Whether it’s the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations, Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 301 (SOX) in the US, the Whistleblower Programs Improvement Act (WPIA), or the Whistleblower Protection Reform Act of 2019 (WPRA), it is yet to be proven these have worked to mitigate the problems 100%.
· Vault Platform helps you remain compliant and effective when dealing with whistleblowing incidents.
· Encourage potential whistleblowers to raise their concerns internally, before going to an external party
· Get to resolution fast, before the incident reporters become frustrated with the process
Ethics & Compliance
Vault Platform allows you to comply with local laws and regulations in terms of providing incident reporting and resolution channels. This compliance gain is passed on to your employees encouraging them to adhere to your Corporate Code of Conduct. Many companies measure the ethical health of their company based on the number of calls they get to their ethics hotline but this gives a false impression as hotlines are only used by 6% of employees that report misconduct.
· Vault Platform reveals previously invisible misconduct by encouraging employees to speak up internally.
· Set the groundwork for a robust and ethical work environment that shows misconduct will not be tolerated.
· Demonstrate that those who speak up will be listened to and supported.
The Employee Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) deals with around 90,000 misconduct charges annually and almost one-third of these involve harassment claims. Legal settlements can run into the millions and are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reputational damage.
· Create a safe and confidential space for employees to speak up internally without fear of retaliation
· Anonymous reporters can retain their anonymity and still participate in an investigation
· GoTogether feature means people are 8x more likely to come forward than with incumbent solutions due to the power of strength in numbers
The challenge of discrimination has been on the HR, Compliance, and Legal agenda for some time. Racial discrimination has increased in priority in recent months due to movements such as Black Lives Matter.
When it comes to systemic discrimination the numbers speak for themselves. According to a survey conducted in late 2019 by the Center for Talent Innovation 58% of black professionals have experienced racial prejudice at work. Black employees also account for only 8% of professional jobs and only 3% make it to the executive level due to biases in talent progression.
· Address both conscious and unconscious bias in your workforce.
· Create a safe and confidential space for employees to speak up.
· Expose systemic discrimination.
Bullying, whether online or physical, is the most common form of misconduct experienced or witnessed by employees in the workplace. Over 70% of workers will encounter bullying at some point in their careers. Create an environment that:
· Gives employees a safe and confidential place to speak up about their concerns
· Route reports to the most relevant stakeholder to avoid conflicts of interest
· Ensure two-way communication between the employee and Case Manager even if the employee chooses to remain anonymous
Ensure Personal Safety
The COVID-19 crisis is contributing heavily to a re-focusing of workplace priorities to physical and psychological safety over career progression and personal growth.
Government legislation requirements about employee coronavirus infection reporting in the US, or the EHRC’s mandate on preventing workplace harassment in Europe are putting more pressure on companies regarding internal reporting and resolution.
· Enable a trusted channel for employees to report their concerns about safety or wellbeing.
· Enable your stakeholder teams to act quickly to achieve resolution.
· Capture information about infection outbreaks on the ground.
And so forth….
Where the leaders and HODs support discrimination and corruption – directly or indirectly, they are regarded as non-performers! They are equal partners in the crime of gender/racial discrimination. The gender-based discrimination in the workplace continues, with some of us watching every incident with a hawk’s eyes and documenting them. Someday, those documents will bring about real-life case studies on all the above topics mentioned. A woman can be very good at work but never better than “them”! A day will come when the sun will shine bright on the just females who continue to work ethically – under all circumstances and threats that a male-dominated Corporate World poses to these strong women – their wings may be cut now, but they will re-grow and fly to greater heights. Just watch!