As an independent data and measurement company, our clients—and the industries we support—depend on us to be an unbiased arbiter. To serve as a source of truth, integrity must be part of the foundation of everything we do at Nielsen.
Recently, Julia Wilson, VP, Global Responsibility & Sustainability, Nielsen, sat down with Emily Epstein, SVP, General Counsel of Corporate & Compliance, and Corporate Secretary, Nielsen, to discuss how this foundational focus on integrity is operationalized across the company. Our new operating principle of Trust and Accountability is key to making sure integrity is part of everyone’s day-to-day focus.
“It is so important that we trust each other and hold each other accountable to the highest levels of integrity in all that we do,” said Emily. “It’s also really important that when people feel like they have a concern, that they raise it, because only in response to that can we do a training or see if there’s a risk that we need a new policy about. We have to have a culture of integrity, and in order to do that we need to hold each other to the highest standards.”
Maintaining a culture of integrity in all that we do helps protect the integrity of our data across the clients and markets we serve around the globe. During our more than 90-year history, trust in our business and brand has been critical to our ability to effectively engage with consumers, provide cutting-edge measurement services, and ultimately to help our clients and markets grow.
Our Code of Conduct is the foundation for compliance and integrity at Nielsen, along with mandatory training for all of our associates. We regularly update our Code of Conduct to make sure that it meets our evolving business needs; our associates also complete annual training and recertification.
Emily highlighted both the proactive and reactive measures we take to ensure compliance and integrity is embedded across all that we do at Nielsen, including through our policies and procedures. We provide regular engagement opportunities for our associates through newsletters, trainings and contests, and we work collaboratively across functions such as human resources, internal audit, finance and procurement to make sure we’re aligned on risk areas and advancing our culture of integrity across all aspects of our global organization.
To further bring this culture to life across our company, we also have one to two integrity leaders in each of the regions where we operate, complemented by about 50 integrity ambassadors. These leaders serve as our “eyes and ears on the ground” at a more local level.
The compliance & integrity team also responds to concerns and questions that come from our associates or other stakeholders. “We try and do this through organizational justice; we want to have a coordinated, consistent response when concerns are raised,” said Emily. “We also have a helpline that allows people to anonymously ask questions or raise concerns without any fear of retribution or retaliation.”
Going forward, the team is focused on strengthening existing cross-functional partnerships, supporting our managers to lead with integrity, and improving communications to be as clear as possible about what our company’s expectations and standards are for our culture of integrity.