It's fair to say that the idea of whistleblowing, and the positive effects it can have, has moved to the front of the public consciousness over recent years thanks to a number of high-profile revelations.

These cases, and subsequent crusades to expose wide-scale wrongdoing, have received international attention, and have certainly prompted real and tangible change in a number of industries.

One of the most earth-shaking examples of this is the #metoo movement, which followed the testimonies of many high powered figures within the film industry had been sexualy abusing female actors for decades. What was once an unspoken, clandestine truth within the industry became public knowledge at long last and a floodgate was opened. The #metoo movement was the result, with hundreds of thousands of anecdotal accounts of abuse coming to light.

Covering up sexual abuse and other misdeeds is not limited to the entertainment industry. Speaking about endemic sexual abuse in the aid sector, MPs stated that there was 'complacency verging on complicity'.

The role of an independent whistleblowing service

Things may be slowly changing, but a large part of the reason that these abuses of power carry on for so long is that victims have little or no confidence in their ability to report individuals and enact consequences for their actions. That's why more and more businesses and industries are turning to independent whistleblowing services and hotline providers to bolster their whistleblowing policy.

Wrongdoers within the entertainment industry, thrive on a culture of fear and silence and it is exactly this environment that a strong whistleblowing policy will help to dispel or uproot. Engaging an independent organisation, meanwhile, ensures fair and thorough investigations, and results that are delivered without bias, prejudice, or regard for internal politics.

A whistleblowing policy with external aid provides a conduit for complaints that, if necessary, bypasses the larger management structure to reach an organisation's most senior figures directly. More than that though, it instils confidence that those who have been wronged, or have witnessed wrongdoing, will be taken seriously and completely supported going forward. Once it has been in place for long enough whistleblowing policy can effect real cultural change.

Originally published 3rd June 2020.

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