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How can companies be accountable?

How can companies be accountable? Watch this video with Nathan and Adiba to find out.

In this video, Nathan and Adiba discuss some ideas about how companies can hold themselves accountable for their products, services and practices. Nathan emphasises the importance of accountability partners – having external advisors or bodies in the public sector. Other suggestions include conducting staff surveys and supporting staff network groups.

For Adiba, organisations can hold themselves accountable by looking at why people are leaving, taking in feedback and ensuring it is used to improve HR processes. She notes that employees can hold companies to account as well. She gives the firing of Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell from Google as an example. Over ‘1,200 Google employees and more than 1,500 supporters from academia and civil society signed a letter of protest in response to the incident’ (1), which was a powerful way to try and hold the company to account. Previously, workers at Google had staged a series of global walkouts in response to the company’s handling of sexual harassment and discrimination (2).

What do you think should be the balance of responsibility when it comes to holding companies, institutions and organisations accountable? Should the onus be on managers, staff groups, external parties, employees? What would you prioritise? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and keep the conversation going by responding to a fellow learner.


  1. Julia Carrie Wong, 2020. More than 1,200 Google workers condemn firing of AI scientist Timnit Gebru, Guardian.

  2. Matthew Weaver and Alex Hern in London, Victoria Bekiempis in New York, Lauren Hepler in Mountain View and Jose Fermoso in San Francisco, 2018. Google walkout: global protests after sexual misconduct allegations, Guardian.

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