Sharjah: The Pearl Initiative, a leading Gulf business-led non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency, held a virtual panel discussion in conjunction with stc. The discussion, moderated by Siemens, highlighted the perspectives of leading Saudi companies, including stc, SABIC and SEDCO Holding, in promoting integrity best practices as well as shedding light on how Gulf businesses can leverage compliance programmes to create a sustainable corporate culture.

As part of the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption, Saudi Arabia has made numerous strides towards transparency, integrity and fighting corruption in order to curb unethical practices in the workplace. The expert panellists from leading Saudi companies highlighted that Saudi Vision 2030 has helped accelerate the implementation and expansion of anti-bribery legislation across the private sector within KSA.

Panellists highlighted a number of components required to build a corporate culture of integrity – including accountability, trainings, and management buy-in. Whilst it is often believed that cultivating this culture and embedding ethical practices requires buy-in from the top, stc’s Ethics and Compliance programme also relies heavily on the critical role of mid-management in driving this. At stc, the Ethics and Compliance team firmly believe that because employees see their managers on a day-to-day basis, they ‘listen with their eyes first’ and it is therefore imperative for management to understand that it is not only what they say, but what they do, that matters. Organisations must ask themselves how to get middle managers to buy-in to an Ethics and Compliance programme, as they have the biggest influence on whether it will be successful or not.

A culture of integrity is strongly entwined with having a robust ethics and compliance programme. The panellists emphasised the multitude of challenges and opportunities that exist in setting up such programmes, including effective change management, flexible and realistic targets, and open communication channels. Through engaging employees in key compliance trainings that contextualise integrity as part of their job role, an ethical culture will naturally be instilled and practiced on a day-to-day basis.

Building on this, Baker Sindi, Senior Compliance Manager at SABIC, showcased the approach that SABIC has taken to leverage employee training to build an ethical culture. “SABIC aims to disseminate a culture of compliance by identifying capable and willing employees, who we train and appoint as Integrity Ambassadors across our global offices. These ambassadors embody and role model a culture of integrity at SABIC and are responsible for raising awareness on best practices amongst their colleagues,” Baker stated.

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, our panellists remarked that organisations are facing new and unprecedented challenges and a need to mitigate a number of risks. Compliance programmes need to evolve along with business operations and external disruptors. This process is eased when ethical procedures are embedded within the daily corporate

culture of the organisation. Additional factors to maintain a robust ethical culture include leveraging technology for compliance management, upholding strong communication lines with employees, keeping abreast with national legislative and regulatory requirements, and proactively anticipating and managing shifts in trends across the wider ecosystem.

The live panel discussion convened business leaders from across the Gulf region, of which 70% were of management and senior executive level. The session is now available on demand for public access here:

- Ends -

About the Pearl Initiative

Business leaders from across the Gulf Region formed the Pearl Initiative in 2010 to create a non-profit organisation for the Private Sector to collectively embrace the business case in adopting higher standards in corporate governance, accountability, and transparency to enhance business innovation, opportunity and value creation.

With over 40 regional and international partners, the Pearl Initiative brings together business, policy and social sector decision-makers to share best practice and help maximise sustainable and inclusive growth across the region. The Pearl Initiative also supports Gulf-based university students to identify and embrace strong ethics and integrity as they embark on their future careers.

Current programmes run by the Pearl Initiative include Anti-Corruption Best Practices, Diversity in Business Leadership, Governance in MSMEs, Governance in Family Firms, The Business Pledge, and Governance in Philanthropy.

For more information, please visit or contact us at

Noor Hafez
Account Manager

Send us your press releases to

© Press Release 2021

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release was provided from an external third party provider. This website is not responsible for, and does not control, such external content. This content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither this website nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this press release.

The press release is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Neither this website nor our affiliates shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken by you in reliance thereon. You expressly agree that your use of the information within this article is at your sole risk.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, this website, its parent company, its subsidiaries, its affiliates and the respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, advertisers, content providers and licensors will not be liable (jointly or severally) to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation, lost profits, lost savings and lost revenues, whether in negligence, tort, contract or any other theory of liability, even if the parties have been advised of the possibility or could have foreseen any such damages.