Governance Institute of Australia’s Ethics Index 2023 has revealed that the importance of ethics in society has risen to an all-time high.
The importance placed on ethics has shot up to 84, up from 79 last year, and the overall Ethics Index Score has returned to the 2021 figure of 45, having taken a tumble last year.
Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said while the Index score has remained largely steady, the increase in the importance placed on ethics shows expectations aren’t being met.
“The Ethical Expectation Deficit – which is the gap between the value we place on ethical behaviour and the perception – is growing wider. This indicates that there’s still plenty of work to do by organisations and individuals, both in the public and private spheres to ensure good, ethical conduct and a positive culture remain top of the agenda.”
This index is considered the most comprehensive nationwide survey. Now in its eighth year, it reveals the most and least ethical occupations, organizations and sectors, plus checks the nation’s perceptions of current ethical dilemmas and difficult questions.
It found that Real estate agents are ranked as the most unethical.
Politicians at all levels of government have seen a significant boost in the public’s perception of their ethical behaviour. Despite this, politicians remain at the lower end of the spectrum in the bottom five occupations.
The most ethical occupations were fire services (75) followed by ambulance services (74) and pharmacists (73).
Professors and university lecturers have increased significantly from a net score of 55 to 60.
As per this index, private schools or colleges show the highest unethical perceptions.
Cost of living, cybersecurity and the increasing use of AI are seen as the top ethical issues for 2023 with 73% of respondents saying there’s an urgent ethical obligation for customers to be informed of all data breaches.
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