Compliance and Ethics in Review: August 14, 2018

The Latest and Greatest Industry News

New ethical beginnings, the aftermath of sexual harassment, conflicts of interest, and more

Each week, Convercent will highlight some of the top stories and most newsworthy events in the ethics and compliance industry. The focus is global, but you might be surprised by how relevant these stories are, both across borders and businesses.

Former Airbus Executive Kim Urbanchuk Named Parsons Chief Ethics and Compliance Counsel

Kim Urbanchuk, former counsel and director of ethics and compliance at Airbus, has joined Parsons (a digital solutions provider focusing on the defense, security, and infrastructure markets) as chief ethics and compliance counsel. At Airbus, Urbanchuk led a push to develop and sustain regional ethics and anti-corruption compliance throughout North America.

FIG lays groundwork for new Gymnastics Ethics Foundation

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has, “outlined further details behind its new Ethics Foundation, which has been created amid the fallout from the sexual abuse cases in the United States that have directly implicated the sport.”

Per the foundation’s constitution, it will be responsible for:

  • Monitoring the good governance and ethical principles of the FIG
  • Managing disciplinary procedures
  • Safeguarding athletes and other participants in gymnastics from harassment and abuse.

The foundation will also contain three sections:

  • “Safeguarding,” including a help desk for reporting cases of harassment or abuse.
  • A disciplinary section.
  • A compliance sector to monitor good governance and ethical principles of the FIG.

Once the FIG’s Congress approves the foundation, things should be in full swing from January 1, 2019. While these protections clearly should have been in place many years ago, it will be intriguing to see how the foundation protects victims in the future.

What happens when sexual harassers return to work

We often talk about sexual harassment in the workplace, but what happens after an incident? Well, it all depends on how the company handles things. Companies must ask the targets of the harassment what they would like to see happen after an investigation.

As the article above shows, some businesses will move the complainant to a new role. But, it’s usually more helpful to move the harasser. According to Elissa Perry, professor of social-organizational psychology at Columbia University, “The burden for accommodation shouldn’t be on the victim, if [they are] found to be the person legitimately who was mistreated … It shouldn’t be completely on that person, and an organization that is less tolerant and more aware and more inclusive should understand that.”

And, don’t forget to update the victim about what actions have been taken. Otherwise, they may assume nothing has been solved.

Lax state ethics rules leave health agencies vulnerable to conflicts

“The fact that a public health official invested in companies that many would argue harm public health, or whose business might be affected by his decisions, underscores a significant gap in Indiana ethics requirements — a gap that is all too common in other states, a POLITICO investigation found. That lack of transparency prevents the public from having visibility into conflicts by officials who may oversee millions in spending and make decisions that affect thousands of people.”

During their review of state ethics rules, POLITICO found that top public health officials are not subject to any disclosure for financial holdings in 1 out of 5 states. When there are written rules, they tend to vary and have plenty of exploitable loopholes.

It’s a fascinating article worth a read, especially for compliance professionals interested in learning how to better identify potential conflicts of interest.

Should Indra Nooyi have groomed a female successor?

By now, you’ve likely seen headlines that read, “One of the longest-serving female CEOs is being replaced by a man,” in relation to former PepsiCo Indra Nooyi’s departure. Now, there are a mere 24 women S&P 500 CEOs.

As the author of the above article explains, “There are those who argue that, as women, Nooyi and the 24 other female S&P 500 CEOs have a moral obligation to groom female talent, to help ensure that the world’s largest companies move forward on gender diversity, or at least won’t slide backward. Sure. But there are 475 other CEOs in their ranks who ought to feel similarly obligated.”

Do you think Nooyi should have attempted to groom a female successor? Why or why not? It’s an interesting question to mull over, especially in today’s workforce.