Corporate Governance And Ethics: 200 Company Lists Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Corporate Governance and Ethics for 200 Company Lists.

Answer:

Introduction

Lack of gender diversity within the business environment of each of the 200 company’s lists in Australia Stock Exchange has been related to poor talent management. The data suggest that more and more number of female students is dominating in the field of accounting, law and economics comprising of 53%, 60% and 62% respectively (DiPrete and Buchmann 2013). Considering the number of female graduates from the Australian Universities, the scenario looks like a complete waste of talent in the workplace. BHP Billiton is a mining, metals and Petroleum Company based in Australia. The BHP is required to manage its talent in order to outperform its competitors in the market (Maiden 2016). The target being set by AICD is to meet the target of having at least 30% female employees within the workplace by the end of the year 2018. The project aims at identifying the gender inequality issues as dominated in the workplace of the company such that to provide appropriate recommendation for resolving the same.

Key Issues

BHP Billiton has been experiencing the issue of gender inequality in its business culture. This has been influencing the business performance of the company in the long run (Maiden 2016). In addition, the AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors) target of resolving the issue by the end of 2018 has reflected on the managers of the BHP Billiton to identify the various issues related to the gender inequality as it has been facing in its business environment.

Lack of leadership

As that majority of the senior roles in the organization are held by men, there is a lack of support and sponsorship of the female employees in the workplace. Moreover, the management is also not aligned with the leadership values such that to support for the cause to meet up with the AICD target of having at least 30% female employees within the workplace by the end of the year 2018 (Du Plessis et al, 2012).

Lack of appropriate recruitment policies

The company has been recruiting candidates through the trade channels which are not enabling it to reach to a wider audience for providing an equal opportunity for both the genders to apply for a particular job vacancy. Considering the number of female graduates from the Australian Universities, the scenario seems to be a complete waste of talent in the workplace.

Lack of policies and programs

The company is lacking an appropriate development programs and policies that could help in enhancing the skills and knowledge at workplace. Moreover, due to the dominance of gender inequality in the work culture, the relationship among the members in the team is not strong. Thus, the company is also lacking an appropriate communication with its employees that could have helped in spreading awareness about the significance of gender equality at workplace. The BHP Billiton Company is also in need of the right mentor as it is required to undergo some changes in the gender diversification sector (Karena 2014).

Lack of flexible work arrangements

The company is currently incapable of providing flexible working environment within its business culture owing to the lack of policies within its business environment. As the company is working hard to improve on its business processes, it requires the employees to work alike. This has caused the employees not able to manage the work life balance while working in the company.

Recommendation

Lead by example

In order to see more talented women in the leadership and leadership roles, the male leaders in the organization should be acting as the role models. It should be noted that majority of the senior roles in the organizations in Australia are held by men (Karena 2014). Thus, the support and sponsorship of the female employees are to be provided by these male leaders. In addition, the middle management is also required to be aligned with the leadership values.

Implementing appropriate recruitment policy

The company should be implementing the recruitment not only through the trade channels but also through the wider and go through channels. The company should be hiring the employees from the graduate programs. The company should be implementing quotas for the recruiters to hire equal number of men and women.

Development programs

The company should be developing programs for enhancing the skills and knowledge at workplace. The programs should be grooming the potential women employees for enabling them to take on the senior roles in the work place. It should be noted that, the implementation of the programs and policies would be pointless if the relationship among the members in a team is not strong. Thus, the primary objective of the company would be to facilitate the communication process by the commencement of frequent meetings, minutes, debates and discussions. It should also be noted that, though the program is for supporting the women employees in the workplace, it does not imply that men should not involve in the conversation process. In fact, the entire team is required to be engaged in the communication process.

Mentorship program

The BHP Billiton Company is required to implement proper mentorship program within its work culture. However, they are required to be more cautious with the selection of the right mentor as the company is required to undergo some changes in the gender diversification sector. The managers of BHP Billiton are required to implement shadowing program within its workplace. This program would require an employee to follow a particular member if they like to be in the post of the latter in the future (Karena 2014).

Flexible work arrangements

The company should be allowing flexible working environment within its business culture. The company should be implementing separate policies for the primary and part time job seekers (Karena 2014). They should be providing flexible work time and arrangements for the employees even if they need to work hard to convince some clients.

Reasoning

Leading by example

The senior leaders of the organization, playing as the roe, models would be helping in setting upon an example by inspiring the positive changes in order to help the women to maintain the work life balance.

Implementing recruitment policy

The recruitment of candidates from a wider and go through channels would be helping in reaching to more women candidates than by recruiting through the technical trade channels. Moreover, the hiring of candidates from the graduate programs would be helping in hiring equal number of men and women in the resource pool of the company.

Implementing the development programs

The implementation of the development programs could be helpful in developing the knowledge and skills in women in the workplace. This enhancement program would be enabling the women employees to compete with the male employees working in the business environment.

Mentorship program

The implementation of the mentorship program would be helping the employees to enhance their performance and standards such that they could perform at their optimal level in the workplace (Hu et al. 2014). In addition, the shadowing program would be enabling an individual’s to follow a specific employee whose position the individual is anticipating to take in the future.

Flexible work arrangements

The implementation of the flexible work arrangements would be helping the employees especially women to schedule their time by looking after their respective family members and working at the same time. By implementing the flexible work time, the female employees would be helping in maintaining the work life balance. The policy would also be helpful in motivating the employees. Thus, the motivation in the employees would, in turn, raise the productivity of the company in the future.

Conclusion

The project aims at producing a report identifying the gender inequality issues as dominated in the workplace of the company being listed within the list of 200 companies in the Australia Stock Exchange. Gender inequality has been the main concern of the business environment of each of the 200 company’s lists in Australia Stock Exchange has been related to poor talent management. BHP Billiton has been facing the same issue in its business environment which is hampering the company to utilize the full potential of the talent from its employees. The paper helped in identifying the various issues that could be related to the gender inequality in the company. The paper also illustrated about the various measures and strategies, the implementation of which would be helping the company in meeting the target of the ASX. The strategies would also be helping the company in managing the talent in order to outperform its competitors in the market.

Part 2:

Introduction

A whistleblower is an employee, former or current member of a company, who reports the misconducts as present in the workplace environment, in public, whether or not being influenced by external stimuli (Lee 2016). BHP Billiton is a mining, metals and Petroleum Company based in Australia which is currently lacking a best practice whistleblower policy within its workplace. This situation may cause some serious concerns for the potential investors to invest on the company. The project aims at identifying the issues that could be generated owing to the lack of an effective whistleblower policy as dominated in the workplace of the company such that to provide appropriate recommendation for resolving the same.

Risks associated with investments in the company for not having “best practice” whistle blower policy

Owing to the lack of effective whistleblower policies in the companies, it becomes very common for the whistleblowers to reveal the issues in the public. The whistleblowers have been doing it even though, they have to take costly actions which could lead them to lose their jobs for life. As for example, the whistleblowers at the Westfarmers revealed the unethical behavior in the accounts department. The case had tipped off the management related to the use of rebates from the suppliers in order to create an additional profit of $20 million USD in the process. The company saw the sacking of 7 people and the resignation of its CEO as a result of the whistle blowing (Adams 2016).

Lack of reporting procedure

BHP Billiton lacks an appropriate policy that could have enabled the employees share their concerns, suggestions, concerns or complaints with the supervisor. These supervisors are required to report the complaint about the suspected legal and ethical violations in writing to the compliance officer.

Lack of appropriate procedure

Retaliation process in the company is allowed against any board member, employees, volunteers and officers at the workplace (Bj?rkelo 2013). This allows the encouragement of the whistle blowing in the workplace of the company. The company also lacks the implementation of strict actions that could be implied upon the individuals who have been violating the norms and standards in the workplace.

Lack of mentorship program

The implementation of the mentorship program would be helping in creating mass awareness in the employees to enhance their knowledge about the legal or illegal violations and their respective consequences.

Confidentiality

The company s also lacking an appropriate policy that could be guiding the individuals to submit the violations on a confidential basis such that to prevent the reports to get exposed in public

These situations are the main concern for the potential investors to invest on the company as there is always a possibility of whistle blowing in the workplace owing to the lack of effective program and policies.

Recommendation

Best practice contemporary standard for whistleblower policy

The contemporary standards for preventing the whist blowing policy should be implemented by the company. These contemporary standards are described below as:

  • Complying with the Safety Quality Health Service Standards in Australia for accreditation (Shaw et al. 2013)
  • Complying with the policies and best practice guidelines for the employees
  • Consulting within the Health workforce Australia
  • Participating in workshops and industry forums for the workers (Morales and Caraballo 2014)

Best practice whistle blower policy for adoption

Reporting responsibility

The whistleblower policy would require BHP Billiton to enable and encourage the employees to raise concerns within the internal environment of the workplace. The board member, employees, volunteers and officers of the company should be allowed to report concerns related to the violations of any code of ethics or any rules or regulations governing the operations of the company.

No retaliation

Retaliation against any board member, employees, volunteers and officers of the company by an employee should be discouraged. The retaliation against any individual who has been reported to be violating the good faith should be subjected to strict actions that could lead up to the termination of the employment for the individual (Bj?rkelo 2013).

Reporting procedure

The company should be implementing an open door policy and suggests that the employees share their concerns, suggestions, concerns or complaints with the supervisor. These supervisors are then required to report the complaint about the suspected legal and ethical violations in writing to the compliance officer.

Compliance rules

The compliance officer is responsible for making sure that all the complaints related to the illegal or unethical conduct as reported by the employees are investigated and solved (Richards et al. 2016). The compliance officer is also responsible for advising the board of Directress related to all the complaints and their resolution.

Accounting matters

The policy follows the notification of the concerns and complaints by the complacence officer to the finance committee regarding the auditing controls and corporate accounting practices (Wainberg and Perreault 2015). The compliance officer is responsible for notifying immediately about the concerns related to the accounting and auditing work such that to resolve the issues within the workplace.

Acting in good faith

The individual filling the written companies relating to a suspected or actual violation is required to act in a good faith. He should be having proper knowledge that the disclosure of the information would still indicate a violation. It would be a serious disciplinary offense if any of the allegations are found to be invalid or proved to be false.

Confidentiality

The policy implements the submission of the violations or suspected violations on the confidential basis. The reports of the violations are required to be kept confidential and should be consistent enough for the adequate conduction of investigation.

Handling of the reports

The compliance officer is required to notify the individual who has submitted a complaint. The officer should also acknowledge a receipt of the reported violation to the individual. On the basis of the warranty of investigating as provided by the compliance officer, the reports are required to be properly investigated filled by the implications of corrective actions that are required to be undertaken in order to solve the issues related to the violations in the workplace (Groninger 2012).

Reasoning

Reporting responsibility

The whistleblower policy would allow the company to address and rectify the inappropriate actions and conduct if any.

No retaliation

It would be against the rules and values of the company to retaliate against an individual who reports any violation of law including the suspected fraud, compliant of discrimination, or violation of any regulation which helps in governing the operations of the company.

Reporting procedure

The reporting policy would be enabling the employees share their concerns, suggestions, concerns or compacts with the supervisors or the compliance officer who would be investigating on all the reported complaints.

Compliance rules

The compliance rule would follow that the compliance officer would be dealing with all the complaints being reported by the employees and to resolve the same.

Accounting matters

The notification policy requires the compare officer to notify the concerns related to the accounting and auditing process to the senior executives and managers such that to get an effective solution (Garch and Hume 2013).

Acting in good faith

The policy would be helping in creating awareness in the employees relating to the discipline which should be implemented within the workplace of the company.

Confidentiality

The policy would be guiding the individuals to submit the violations on a confidential basis such that to prevent the reports to get exposed in public.

Handling the reported violations

The reports are required to be properly investigated filled by the implications of corrective actions that are required to be undertaken in order to solve the issues related to the violations in the workplace.

Conclusion

The project aims at identifying the issues that could be generated owing to the lack of an effective whistleblower policy as dominated in the workplace in each of the 200 companies in the Australia Stock Exchange. As evident form the discussion illustrated above, whistleblowing has been a serious concern in the work culture of BHP Billiton. This situation may cause some serious concerns for the potential investors to invest on the company. Thus, the paper helped in identifying the various risks that the company might face owing to the lack of an effective whistleblowing policy. The lack of whistleblowing policy could render the company to be vulnerable to the risks that could deteriorate the reputation and recognition of the company in the market. Hence, the paper had illustrated some of the rules and regulations that the company needs to implement within its business culture to prevent any whistleblower to bring upon any dent on its reputation in the market.

References

Adams, M.A., 2016. Contemporary case studies in corporate governance failures. Governance Directions, 68(6), p.335.

Bj?rkelo, B., 2013. Workplace bullying after whistleblowing: future research and implications. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28(3), pp.306-323.

Garch, H. and Hume, D., 2013. IFRS 5, 50 IFRS 7, 63 IGARCH. See Integrated GARCH (IGARCH) income statement, modification of, 140-141 Income Tax Act (1961), 215. Studies in Accounting and Finance: Contemporary Issues and Debates, p.279.

Groninger, K., 2012. Protecting the Public Trust: Implementing Accountability Measures in UK Museums. International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, 5(4).

Lee, C., 2016. Workplace law: Whistleblower protection: Public interest disclosure by an employee. Proctor, The, 36(6), p.39.

Morales, L.I.G. and Caraballo, J.N., 2014. The element of opportunity to commit fraud in nonprofit organizations that inform zero fundraising and administrative expenses. In Forum Empresarial (Vol. 19, No. 1).

Richards, C., Reynolds, M.A. and Dillard, J., 2016. Governance and Reporting in a Complex Global Environment.

Shaw, C.D., Braithwaite, J., Moldovan, M., Nicklin, W., Grgic, I., Fortune, T. and Whittaker, S., 2013. Profiling health-care accreditation organizations: an international survey. International journal for quality in health care, 25(3), pp.222-231.

Wainberg, J. and Perreault, S., 2015. Whistleblowing in Audit Firms: Do Explicit Protections from Retaliation Activate Implicit Threats of Reprisal?. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 28(1), pp.83-93.

DiPrete, T.A. and Buchmann, C., 2013. The rise of women: The growing gender gap in education and what it means for American schools. Russell Sage Foundation.

Du Plessis, J.J., Saenger, I. and Foster, R., 2012. Board Diversity or Gender Diversity: Perspectives from Europe, Australia and South Africa. Deakin L. Rev., 17, p.207.

Hu, C., Wang, S., Yang, C.C. and Wu, T.Y., 2014. When mentors feel supported: Relationships with mentoring functions and prot?g?s' perceived organizational support. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(1), pp.22-37.

Karena, C., 2014. Top five gender diversity policies that work. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: < [Accessed 8 Sep. 2016].

Maiden, M., 2016. BHP boss Andrew Mackenzie turns up the dial on gender diversity. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: < [Accessed 8 Sep. 2016].

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