Are We Doing Enough To Celebrate Whistleblowers In The Corporate World?
Whistleblowers rarely get the credit they deserve, especially when they’re responsible for holding the corporate world accountable.
It’s not always easy to report unethical practices when whistleblowers are rarely celebrated in the corporate world. From fear of retaliation to just not being believed, it takes a strong, moral person to still step forward.
That’s why it’s time for everyone to make a point of celebrating those who do speak out. This is how to create a better work environment and safer products and services.
Not All Are Vilified
When so many negative stories appear about whistleblowers being harassed or fired, it may seem like every whistleblower is blamed versus celebrated. In many cases, whether a whistleblower is praised or not may depend on their original level of power. For instance, studies have shown that when a leader reports wrong doing, they’re seen in a more positive light than a non-leader.
After all, people are more likely to trust and respect a leader versus a co-worker on the same level. Yet, this doesn’t mean only certain people should speak up. Everyone can be a whistleblower and it’s their moral responsibility to do so.
Of course, it’s not just their fellow co-workers and managers that whistleblowers have to consider. Most people either see them as heroes helping to make the world a better place or the bad guys who don’t respect their own job/employer. The psychology around how people see whistleblowers and how whistleblowers think is complex and doesn’t make it any easier for them to get the celebrations they deserve.
It’s easier to see how whistleblowers are celebrated or not celebrated in the corporate world when looking at some of the more famous cases. For instance, Jeffrey Wigand, who served as the VP of tobacco company Brown & Williamson, lost his job after reporting the company’s intentions to addict smokers. Even though his report later led to a $368 billion dollar health settlement, he was still vilified originally.
On the other hand, when Cheryl D. Eckard challenged GlaxoSmithKline for unethical manufacturing practices, she was awarded a then record $96 million for being a whistleblower. These are just two of 10 examples listed by Insider Monkey. ABC News also put together a list that shows how whistleblowers are celebrated via rewards. Gaining millions for standing up against wrong doing sounds amazing, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. Sometimes, whistleblowers don’t even get a thank you.
Doing More To Celebrate Whistleblowers
It’s not fair that legitimate whistleblowers risk their very livelihoods, but get very little in return. This is why National Whistleblower Day was put into place as of 2016. July 30th is now officially National Whistleblower Day each year. You can join in on celebrating and supporting these incredibly important people via the National Whistleblower Day site.
The answer to the original question is no, we aren’t doing enough to celebrate whistleblowers in the corporate world. When more get the respect they deserve, more people will feel more confident coming forward and reducing unethical practices in the corporate world.