Director Survey: “Collegiality” & “ESG” Can Go Too Far
PWC is out with its annual survey of 700 directors. The main theme is that “collegiality” remains highly valued and important – but it can go too far if it keeps directors from speaking up or pursuing necessary refreshments. Here’s the key findings:
– 49% of directors (privately) say that one or more colleagues should be replaced (a record number)
– 43% of directors say it’s difficult to voice a dissenting view in the boardroom
– 72% of boards are conducting performance assessments (up from 49% in 2016) – but most focus on adding expertise or diversity, rather than counseling or not re-nominating underperforming incumbents
The survey also says that some directors are growing weary of diversity & ESG attention:
– After years of steadily climbing, the number of directors saying board diversity is “very important” fell by 10%
– 83% of directors say they don’t support state law diversity mandates – but around half say they support policies of including diverse candidates in recruitment slates
– 56% of directors say that investors devote to much attention to E&S issues (however, part of the frustration is that there’s still a lot of confusion among directors about what issues fall into this category)
– An increasing number of directors say that the board has a role in corporate culture (but still not as much as upper & middle management)
See the HBR article for a take on working with the “5 archetypes” of director approaches to ESG – the deniers, the hardheaded, the superficial, the complacent, and the true believers.
-Liz Dunshee, TheCorporateConsel.net November 1, 2019
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