How to ensure you work for an ethical employer

Published on: 25 Jan 2024

As the demand for engineering talent continues to grow, many employees are focused on ensuring their current firm or potential employer prioritises integrity, transparency, and social responsibility. In this post, we’ll explore strategies to ensure you’re working for an ethical employer.

Research company values

Before accepting a job offer, take the time to thoroughly research the company’s mission, vision, and values. Companies with a commitment to ethical practices often embed these principles in their core values. Look for statements that emphasise integrity, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, and community engagement. A transparent and well-communicated set of values is a strong indicator of an ethical employer.

Evaluate corporate social responsibility (csr) initiatives

Ethical employers actively engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. These initiatives go beyond profit-making goals and demonstrate a commitment to making a positive impact on society. Evaluate the company’s CSR reports, if available, to understand their efforts in areas such as environmental sustainability, philanthropy, and community development. A company genuinely invested in ethical practices will be transparent about its contributions to society.

Assess workplace culture

An ethical workplace is built on a foundation of trust, respect, and fairness. Assess the company’s workplace culture by speaking to current or former employees, participating in networking events, or exploring employee reviews on platforms like Glassdoor. A positive work culture promotes collaboration, open communication, and a supportive environment, fostering innovation and employee well-being.

Scrutinise ethical dilemmas in the industry

Engineering professionals often encounter ethical dilemmas related to privacy, security, and responsible technology use. Before joining a company, research its approach to handling ethical challenges within the industry. Look for evidence of a commitment to ethical decision-making, adherence to industry regulations, and a proactive stance on addressing potential ethical concerns.

Review employee policies and practices

Ethical employers prioritise fair and just employment practices. Review the company’s employee policies to ensure they align with ethical standards. Pay attention to policies related to discrimination, harassment, diversity, and inclusion. Companies with a strong ethical foundation provide equal opportunities and foster an inclusive workplace where diverse perspectives are valued.

Seek certifications and recognitions

Look for certifications and recognitions that highlight a company’s commitment to ethical business practices. Certifications such as B Corp Certification or recognition from organisations like the Ethisphere Institute can serve as indicators of a company’s dedication to ethical conduct. These certifications demonstrate that the company has met rigorous standards for social and environmental performance.

Conclusion

Choosing an ethical employer is essential for engineers who want to contribute positively to society through their work. By researching company values, evaluating CSR initiatives, assessing workplace culture, scrutinising industry ethics, reviewing employee policies, and seeking certifications, engineers can ensure they align themselves with organisations that prioritise ethical conduct. Making informed decisions about where to work not only benefits individual engineers but also contributes to the overall advancement of ethical practices within the engineering profession.