The old boys’ club is alive and strong at VW


The U.S. monitor’s report that VW “still has work to do to protect potential whistle blowers” is too narrow in scope for what VW needs to do. It is obvious that the board and senior executives do not have the will to make the changes required. The fact they are still standing by a senior executive who is in jail validates this. What they need to do is create conditions necessary to engage all to find sustainable solutions. The conditions I advocate are:

1. Trust

2. Diversity and inclusion

3. A sense of purpose

4. A sense of efficacy 

5. Freedom of expression

Creating these conditions will make protections for whistleblowers a moot point because when these conditions are in place everyone will feel comfortable and safe in putting their hand up to say - “This is not right, and WE need to change it.” 

Mary Barra, a woman, created these conditions at General Motors after the ignition switch scandal. I assert that unless VW sheds it’s ‘old boys' club’ mentality, it will be impossible for them to create these conditions, and they will fall.