Gender and Whistleblowing: A hidden aspect of speaking up

On 4 March, the Whitaker Institute was delighted to host Gender and Whistleblowing: A hidden aspect of speaking up. Whistleblowing is increasingly recognized as a vital way to hold organizations to account and keep societies safe. Changes are happening: new legislation is being introduced to protect those who speak up about organizational wrongdoing, including an EU Directive that must be transposed into national law by member states by December 2021. Organizations are also increasingly introducing speak-up systems to encourage disclosures internally. Despite this increasing attention, proposed whistleblowing protection may be lacking in its capacity to help all those who need it. To date, whistleblower research has been largely gender neutral, raising questions about the status of knowledge and understanding in this area.  Does whistleblowing research and theory effectively overlook the nuances and complexities of speaking out, for female and non-binary genders? Does gender contribute to the structural disadvantages faced by whistleblowers? What theoretical legacies contribute to gender blindness in this field? Extant research studies show how the capacity to speak out, and the success of disclosures, can be affected by characteristics including gender but also race, age, ethnicity and other categories, but how has this empirical knowledge impacted upon theoretical framings?  In this workshop we examined these and related questions. We were delighted to welcome five panellists who discussed the overlooked gendered dimensions of speaking up. Such a focus is vital if proposed protections are to be effective for all whistleblowers.

The event is available to watch back below.


Mahaut Fanchini- Assistant Professor at University Paris-Est Créteil
Laura William – Associate Professor of Employment Relations and Equality – Greenwich Business School 
Nanna Bonde Thylstrup – Associate Professor – Copenhagen Business School
Daniela Agostinho – University of Copenhagen
Brigid MacCarthy – Tavistock/UEL

Hosted by: Dr Meghan Van Portfliet and Professor Kate Kenny, NUI Galway

This event was sponsored by the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Project Fund, NUI Galway and hosted by the Whitaker Institute