Although speaking out is often seen as an individual action it should be the responsibility of all to embed this culture and allow individuals to raise concerns when appropriate. When an individual speaks out it often takes courage, and by creating an inclusive culture employers and wider communities will benefit from these actions through increased integrity.
When speaking out depending on the severity you should prepare fully and evaluate the implications of both speaking, and not speaking out. Making unfounded allegations in itself is unethical, and every effort should be made to have supporting evidence prepared for any future eventuality. Reporting where possible should be through an appropriate process. Receiving and reacting to feedback from any action is important, which includes respecting the viewpoints of others and then deciding whether escalation is appropriate.
There are a number of steps in which an individual can escalate an issue. They/You should be aware and evaluate potential personal consequences of speaking out and prepare accordingly:
- Informal Disclosure – Approaching the wrongdoer(s) can often resolve an issue at source. Seeking advice and support confidentially from colleagues can provide extra confidence and guidance on next steps.
- Formal Disclosure – Most organisations will have formal procedures for reporting wrongdoing. These processes should be clear and transparent. It is at this stage individuals should prepare appropriately, which may often require evidence, and appraising consequences of any wrongdoing. Acting on hearsay is not recommended.
- Disclosure to the Professional Body – An individual can seek advice from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Filling in the form below is one method of doing this. The Royal Society of Chemistry can support all through its Bullying and Harassment support line and/or to Members through the Chemistry Community Fund.
- Full public disclosure through the media or government should be contemplated carefully. This action would almost certainly have extreme consequences and it is recommended individuals should evaluate all other options before considering this route.
All information provided below will be treated confidentially and not shared without the individual's permission.