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What characteristics do the World’s Most Ethical Companies have in common?

The first volume of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies Insights Report series launched this week uses data obtained from the honoree companies to assess their programs and create industry benchmarks.

“Through our survey, we capture valuable information from the best of the best when it comes to business ethics, governance and compliance,”  Ethisphere’s executive vice president Erica Salmon Byrne said.

Some of the findings include:

Diversity at the highest levels: Among the 128 companies from Ethisphere’s 2019 awards list, women hold 28.1 percent of the director positions (a four percent increase over last year). That compares with 21.1 percent overall on the large cap index.

Disseminating information about disciplinary actions: Amazingly, one out of every ten employees surveyed by Ethisphere indicated that they either disagree or strongly disagree that the rules and associated disciplinary actions for unethical behavior or misconduct are the same for every employee. That said, nearly one-third (32 percent) of honorees do communicate publicly about how such concerns were reported, the types of concerns reported, and the substantiation rates of corresponding investigations. This figure represents a noticeable increase over 2018, when less than a quarter of 2018 honorees communicated such information publicly.

Supporting middle management: An employee’s immediate manager is the most commonly used resource for not only asking questions but also reporting observed instances of misconduct, so supporting middle management with tools to ease the intake and tracking process is important to the World’s Most Ethical Companies. The majority (84 percent) of 2019 honorees use a tracking tool or case management system that tracks all reports and related investigations, regardless of how the report was originally made.


Ethics challenges have tripped up the best of companies. But there are roadmaps available to help compliance professionals navigate even the most treacherous paths. Click here to request the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies Insights Report.


Aarti Maharaj is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog. She’s is the Managing Director of the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance South Asia Chapter and Director of Communications at Ethisphere.

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1 Comment

  1. Are you looking at wage gaps between CEOs and employees, or corporate violations and fines?

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