Leidos CECO Michele Brown on Ethisphere recognition, culture of ethics
Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Michele Brown (below) answers questions about Leidos being named one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.
Who is the Ethisphere Institute and how did Leidos come to be named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies?
The Ethisphere Institute is a renowned global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. It honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program using a proprietary Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework. This rigorous evaluation offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized manner in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent); corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent); culture of ethics (20 percent); governance (15 percent); and leadership, innovation, and reputation (10 percent). Leidos received this distinction following a lengthy and detailed nomination process which required cross-functional collaboration across the enterprise.
What is unique about this recognition?
This recognition is unique for a variety of reasons. First, it is an exclusive honor – Leidos is one of only 135 honorees from 23 countries and 57 industries to be named one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies. Few of our competitors can make this claim.
Second, this honor not only recognizes companies like ours for driving positive change through its ethical practices, but also for promoting corporate citizenship and responsible governance and leadership.
Why is this recognition important for Leidos?
At Leidos, we emphasize the value that a strong ethical culture has to the enterprise. This recognition not only validates the strength of our ethics and compliance program, it also serves as a discriminator for our company.
An additional benefit is the ability to benchmark our program against all honorees and Ethisphere’s criteria across the evaluation categories for us to learn where we excel, meet expectations, or fall short.
A strong ethical culture is also simply good for business. The World’s Most Ethical Companies have proven that operating with integrity leads to greater financial performance. As shown below, the 2017 World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the U.S. Large Cap Index. Research has found that, when indexed, listed World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the U.S. Large Cap Index over five years by 10.72 percent.
After such a prestigious recognition, what’s next for the Ethics & Compliance team?
There is always more work to do, and the bar is constantly being raised. The types and potential severity of compliance-related risks are increasing across industry and throughout the globe. We are focused on bolstering our foundational culture of ethics and will continue to invest in ethics and compliance as an integral component of our business. We are also working to make sure that in every circumstance we act responsibly, learn as an organization, and strive for greatness.
To learn more about the history of ethics at Leidos and how our ethics and compliance program is structured, click here.