As a self ascribed "industry watchdog" I'm often skewered in my attempts to bring attention to the uncomfortable. I'm cool with this. It means I'm asking important questions. And to this issue I make the observation that we, as a profession, vocation or calling, need a business code of ethics.
"Business Ethics" can be defined as the critical, structured examination of how people & institutions should behave in the world of commerce. In particular, it involves examining appropriate constraints on the pursuit of self-interest, or (for firms) profits, when the actions of individuals or firms affects others.
I imagine that a think tank/summit would be the most efficacious way to host this important conversation. Leaders in the doula world need to gather around a table and hammer out what this would look like. Certainly, we don't need to re-invent the wheel. The Canadian Marketing Association, a think tank of marketing gurus, makes available some compelling marketing guidelines that cleave to foundational ethical principals yet allow for maximum realisation of profit and potential. Their position on "Warm chatting" or any other type of marketing contact is multi-faceted and contains the following:
Marketers should identify themselves and must not engage in marketing communications in the guise of one purpose when the intent is a different purpose.
We need clear ethical guidelines in place to guide us as we move into a new business savvy era. We mustn't take this lightly. Our success rests on a mountain of great work done by industry pioneers and we ought not waste it by acting cavalier and not laying the tracks for what is to come. It is truly beneath us all to be stuck in spitting contests and high-school antics. Let's all come to higher ground and establish agreed upon industry guidelines. If anyone can come together and get this done, doulas can.