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World’s Most Ethical Companies: Infosys – Inderpreet Sawhney & Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Lead Independent Director

Inderpreet Sawhney, Group General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer

The organizations honored among the World’s Most Ethical Companies have to be places where ethics aren’t simply upheld by a single function. “The way I like to describe it,” says Inderpreet Sawhney, Group General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Infosys, “the compliance team defines the swim lanes, but everyone else is participating in the meet.”

At Infosys, that makes for a pretty big race—the India-based international digital services and consulting company has 250,000 employees in 46 countries. The organization’s lead independent director, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, emphasized that even as a global organization, Infosys still wants to impact the business climate at home. “In India, we’ve been trendsetters in compliance and good governance. We want to lead so that others can follow.”

To make sure that the culture message resonates at scale, Sawhney says, her team has elevated partners across the organization to communicate constantly about ethics. “At our compliance week, we heard from delivery leadership, sales leadership, finance partners, our HR community, our CEO, our chairman…we have a partnership with everybody across the board.”

That philosophy of building partnerships to reinforce culture also applies to diversity within the organization, something that both Sawhney and Mazumdar-Shaw understand intimately as female leaders in the male-dominated tech industry. “The diversity and inclusion agenda has a mandate from the board, with a board member focused on it,” says Mazumdar-Shaw.

As Sawhney notes, diversity brings value from different perspectives. “All women are looking for a level playing field, right? Nobody wants favors. Every day, you come in and you’ll get a fair shake.” Both women also believe that a culture of ethics and a culture of inclusion go hand in hand, since both enable speaking up.

They’re also confident that although this is the first year Infosys has appeared on the list, it shouldn’t be the last. As far as that grand swim meet goes, according to Sawhney, “There really is no finish line in compliance, right? Our goal is to do a bit better and keep moving ahead, every day.”

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