This week on Working It we take a step back from day-to-day workplace life and explore the issue of whistleblowing. What drives people to speak up against their employers - and what happens to those staff? Does it necessarily end your career in that company? 

Isabel talks to Siri Nelson, executive director of the US National Whistleblower Center. Siri has devoted her professional life to protecting the rights of those who speak up. She offers advice for listeners who have seen something wrong and want to report it (first step: get a lawyer). 

Siri and Isabel discuss some of the whistleblowers who have changed history - including Sherron Watkins. In 2001 she was a popular member of staff at US energy giant Enron, but when she spoke out about corruption in the company, it made her an outcast at work. Her efforts were not in vain, though - and Watkins ended up testifying at government hearings. 

Plus, Isabel gets some insights from the FT’s whistleblowing expert, Brooke Masters, our chief business columnist. What sorts of staff decide to report wrongdoing? And how can managers ensure that our corporate cultures encourage honesty - and can deal with internal problems before it is too late? 

Want to read more? 

National Whistleblower Center [US] - lots of advice and resources

Whistleblowers UK -British campaigning group 

Brooke Masters on why whistleblowers deserve our thanks - and protection

The corruption of cronyism in workplaces - and a whistleblower's experience of calling it out

Andrew Hill on the business lessons learned from Enron, 20 years after its collapse

We love to hear from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we tackle in 2022? Email the team at or Isabel directly at Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter 

Subscribe to Working It wherever you get your podcasts - please listen, rate and subscribe!

Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.

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