Latest Governance Institute of Australia Ethics Index Reveals Trust Shifts in Professional Sectors
Real estate agents hold the dubious distinction of being the least trusted professionals in the nation, according to the latest findings from the Governance Institute of Australia Ethics Index. In stark contrast, emergency services personnel have consistently secured the top spots when it comes to public trust and ethical conduct.
Firefighters and ambulance service workers continue to enjoy the highest levels of public confidence, maintaining their positions as the most trusted professions, while pharmacists occupy a respectable third place in the rankings.
Regrettably, real estate agents are saddled with the unenviable reputation of being regarded as the least ethical occupation, closely followed by the media sector, which ranks as the least ethical industry. Looking ahead, concerns regarding the ethics of artificial intelligence and embryo experimentation loom large on the horizon.
In terms of sectors, the healthcare industry emerges as the paragon of integrity, yet some general practitioners who do not offer bulk-billing services are perceived as somewhat unethical. Interestingly, the survey reveals a surge in the number of individuals who emphasize the importance of ethics in society, marking an all-time high, largely attributed to the growing ethical consciousness among Generation X and Millennials, with a decline in such concerns among Baby Boomers.
The perception of politicians, spanning various levels of government, has seen a notable improvement compared to the previous year’s survey, as indicated in the report. However, despite this positive shift, politicians still find themselves ranking among the bottom five occupations in terms of public trust. Megan Motto, the Chief Executive of the Governance Institute, points out that the gap between the value placed on ethical behavior and public perception continues to widen, underscoring the need for concerted efforts by both organizations and individuals, within the public and private spheres, to prioritize ethical conduct and foster a positive culture.
The survey findings also shed light on public sentiment regarding certain political actions. The implementation of stage three income tax cuts, coupled with a minor increase in the JobSeeker rate, is perceived as somewhat unethical. However, breaking an election pledge is regarded even more negatively. Interestingly, the concept of a First Nations Voice to Parliament is viewed as somewhat ethical, although one in five individuals deems it ‘very unethical.’