Fighting for whistleblower Security

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shanon walker

WhistleBlower Security provides ethics helplines and customizable risk management reporting solutions to protect and shelter organizations from potential risks and alert those in charge to take actions before any damage is done. Fraudexpress had opportunity to interact with Shannon where she expressed her views about the whistleblower security. It is interesting to know how the concept of whistleblower security came in existence.

About 8 years ago, Shannon and her team were managing a public company and were being inundated with all of the new SOX regulations. When they examined the whistleblower policy, they realized there was an opportunity to build a new company to assist other organizations with meeting their compliance requirements. The result was WhistleBlower Security.

“I find the ethics and compliance silo of business very interesting and rewarding and believe that we need to migrate the business culture to one of higher integrity and commitment to both the entity as well as the employees”. Explains Shannon. There needs to be a paradigm shift in how organizations are managed and our service is one tool that will assist organizations in achieving their ethical and sustainable goals. Shannon tells Fraudexpress.

While explaining about her education she explains “I have a BA and MA in Communications and have worked in many entrepreneurial environments, from fashion to multimedia and automotive and furniture aftermarket products but it is Whistleblower that I am most passionate about as I believe it offers an important service to all of our clients. We aspire to be more than a hotline – we hope that our service and the training that we provide, will help companies succeed, prosper and contribute to society as a whole and allow their employees to work in an empowered environment”. Interview with Shannon was quite interesting and here is the transcript of what Shannon shared with the team of Fraudexpress.
Q: Whistleblowing is very sensitive issue. What challenges you face in implementing the solutions related to whistleblowing in india
In India, whistleblowing has been a very tentative concept that has not been easily embraced. The very public retaliation of certain whistleblowers has created a climate of intimidation and fear. Unfortunately, I believe the support and acceptance of people coming forward for the right reason will be slow but this is a global business movement that is gaining not only acceptance but it is seen as an essential and mandatory shift in how we do business.

Q: How do you foresee india as a market for whistleblowing solutions offered by your company. Do you have strategic tie ups with organisations in India

I think India offers a huge opportunity for our whistleblowing solutions are it is an emerging market for this type of services. We do have strategic alliances with Ernst & Young in Pune currently and are looking for other partners to assist us in marketing our services.

Q: In India there were hi profile whistleblower instances where whistleblowers ended their lives, USA witnessed two very hi profile instances of women whistleblowers. Would you like to put some light on cases in your country?

Currently, in Canada, we have some very concerning whistleblower cases involving Federal government employees and the office that was established to protect them. We are also having issues at a provincial government level. Although Canada espouses to be ahead of the curve with regards to whistleblowing, we have a lot of work to do to protect those who are courageous and come forward and to encourage a culture which supports that behavior.

Q: How does education on antifraud topics help in doing the business of whistleblowing solutions. Are you aware of any such certifications in India

There are some country specific certifications like Certified Forensic Accounting Professional which help the Indian students to build their career in the forensic accounting and fraud investigations but attending anti-corruption conferences, Ethics and Compliance conferences and corporate governance conferences can also offer support and networking opportunities for anyone seeking a career in this field. Many universities are introducing Business Ethics degrees which would be a worthwhile degree if someone was interested in pursuing anti-fraud as a career.

Q: What are the career opportunities in this domain

The anti-fraud field is growing. From forensic accounting, fraud examiners, private investigators, litigators who specialize in this practice, and the relatively new office of Chief Ethics Officer, in many Fortune 500 companies, there are many opportunities for women. And I believe there is a strong movement globally for the business world to truly transition to a much higher level of adherence, compliance and ethically managed entities so getting into this line of work now, offers a great advantage to young women.

Q: What are the challenges faced by the women professionals in anti fraud domain.
I don’t think there are any challenges specific to women. The opportunity is there with the right credentials. Obtaining a CFE, CA or a Business Ethics degree (which many universities are beginning to offer) could offer an individual multiple career paths and opportunities.