On the 9th October 2019, Saudi Arabian Business Industries Corporation (SABIC) hosted a conference on “Promoting Integrity and Transparency for Growth". PSU had the honor of being selected as one of the participating universities at the conference as PSU was involved with the Pearl Initiative Business Pledge with SABIC. The pledge not only showcases PSU commitment towards promoting responsible and sustainable growth in the GCC region but also encourages our students to learn from SABIC's best practices in promoting ethical behavior and fostering a climate of compliance and integrity.
Seven students from PSU participated as the university ambassadors representing PSU and running an informative booth at the conference that highlights what PSU stands for and how it is involved in providing hands-on education that promotes the application of ethics in real world. Bassma Alhamdan, Rim Kadder, Yara Jado, Roza Alghunaim, Yara Aljuhaiman, Mashael Alhebaishy, Sarah Alobaidallah, and Hessah Bin Battal were the participating students under the supervision of Dr. Alawiya Allui, Associate Chair of Management Department, Dr. Rhada Boujlil and Ms. Michelle Words from the College of Business Administration.
PSU booth at the conference served as a bridge through which the conference guests learned about PSU and what programs and practices we offer our students to help them develop real-life skills in understanding ethics, integrity, governance and accountability and preparing them for the application of these concepts and practices in real life and within different business environments. Our visual aids consisted of an informative video about PSU in addition to a short speech by one of our distinguished alumni, Ms. Alanoud Bin Sarhan who was selected besides seven other elite students from GCC countries last year to serve as a Students Advisory Board Member with Pearl Initiative to speak for the region's youth and develop a perspective on how to spread awareness about the Pearl Initiative programs in supporting future generations of business leaders.
The conference kicked off with SABIC's CEO and Vice Chairman, Mr. Yousef A. Albenyan who confirmed Sabic's firm commitment to integrity in the workplace by fostering a world-class code of ethics. Mr. Albenyan claimed that “We need to fight corruption, unethical behavior, and non-compliance in the workplace"; a philosophy that is in sync with what PSU is striving to promote through our ethics class and our involvement in improving integrity and accountability through taking the Pearl Initiative's Business Pledge with SABIC and MAADEN and participating in its Case Study Competition.
The conference provided great opportunities to learn from activists who came from around the world to share in their insights, expertise, and thoughts about promoting corporate responsibility, transparency, anti-corruption practices, and ethics in the workplace and how such practices create growth opportunities for business. There were a total of three panels where speakers boarded different topics such as building blocks of a culture of integrity in private sector and government; embedding ethics in corporate culture, and quantifying the value of a culture of integrity and responding to stakeholder inquiries.
Saudi Arabian Government authorities were also represented through the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NAZAHA) where the Head of the Laws and Regulations Development Department, Mr. Abdullah AlQahtani enlightened the audience about the Kingdom's efforts in establishing solid grounds of ethical behavior and fighting corruption in the workplace and in any other business settings. Mr Mathad Al-Ajmi, B20 Integrity and Compliance Task Force Chair represented B20 Saudi Arabia discussed the steps taken by the Kingdom to foster best practices in the workplace, the ongoing progress, and what the Kingdom envisions for the future.
Besides the valuable insights gained from the conference speakers, our PSU students were able to speak to a variety of business leaders and banking gurus in the region, in addition to several government agencies representatives. The students took turns managing the booth and entertaining the audience; with high foot traffic in our booth, our students had the chance to speak to a large number of the conference attendees showing interest in PSU and eager to hear our story and what we advocate. This experience provided a good opportunity for our students to network, learning about the best ethical practices in the business, and gaining insights about how integrity is a key driver of success and growth in the workplace.
Report Compiled by: Dr. Rhada Boujlil &
Dr. Alawiya Allui