At one company, a number of physical security controls were required, including ‘panic buttons’ in certain locations, which could be pressed by an employee in distress and would notify the alarm monitoring service to call law enforcement. These panic buttons were mandated as part of regulatory compliance.
A fellow executive tried pressuring me to simply install buttons, but not connect them to anything. The goal of this ploy was to trick the inspectors into thinking panic buttons were in place, so the company would pass the certification, while avoiding the cost of wiring, installation, and the monitoring service. This could have saved the company a little expense, but it would have required lying to the inspectors, which is clearly unethical. It would also have put employees at risk, by not providing the emergency lifeline that they expected to be there.
While we all know at some level that not everyone is ethical, a lesson learned here was that a lack of ethics can come from surprising sources, even high-placed ones that you expect to be above that sort of thing. We must remain vigilant and steer the right course, in spite of others around us who may not have the same moral compass.