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11 June, 2021 / Opinion

I tested my integrity in the workplace

By Natasha Turner

Trialing the CISI's IntegrityMatters test

I tested my integrity in the workplace

This week I became a non-executive director of a bank. Well, I didn’t actually, but I got to pretend to be one to test what I would do in certain scenarios.

For the trial of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment’s (CISI) IntegrityMatters test, I selected what I considered to be the most ethical response to a situation involving my fictional executive directors and sales director, and continued to select responses as the scenario unfolded (much like those Choose your own Adventure books, turn to page 12 to enter the cave…).

Many of you will have also taken the IntegrityMatters test. The CISI says more than 70,000 professionals have now taken it and it is a requirement for members who want to become chartered individuals.

The importance of integrity is, of course, paramount, and is a part of good governance. Scrutiny of company boards has increased as diversity and inclusion issues come to the fore, and the pandemic has also caused finance firms to look inwards at their own employee practices and set ups as day-to-day working practices .

“At a time of unprecedented interest in ESG-oriented investing and following a period when companies’ treatment of all their stakeholders amid the global pandemic has been under intense scrutiny, we believe the investment sector should be practising what it preaches and ensuring that, alongside the businesses to which it allocates capital, its own governance is at the highest possible level,” we said at the launch of our Campaign for Better Governance in February.

See also: – Last Word Media unveils Campaign for Better Governance

But how often do we truly reflect on our integrity and decision-making? For me, not as much as I thought. Prior to the IntegrityMatters trial test, ESG Clarity sat down with the CISI for an Integrity at Work presentation.    

After being shown what the impact of trust in a profession can be, we were given workplace scenarios to consider, such as what to do when discovering someone has lied on their CV, or if and when to go to human resources about a Whatsapp group used to gossip about staff.

“The CISI Integrity At Work workshop is a lively, interactive session using real-life dilemmas set in a financial services business environment,” said non-executive board director Petros Florides.

“With real-time voting devices we involve participants in decision-making options while at the same time learning the importance of the core values of honesty, openness, transparency and fairness in an effort to address the loss of trust in the present global financial market.”

I was often surprised to find my colleagues had different approaches to situations I had thought were morally clear, prompting me to ask myself how much I truly consider the diversity of thought of others. Discussing our decisions also led to open conversations about conduct in the workplace, and reflection on previous situations.

Work is often fast-paced and taking a minute out to stop and reflect is incredibly healthy and useful. Even just as talking points or prompts, I found both workshops to be very beneficial, and if they also help move towards an industry with more integrity and better governance, so much the better.

Part of the Bonhill Group.