NACD Weekend Reader

Board Lens

Hundreds of Business Leaders Face Accusations in #MeToo Movement

A new reports finds the #MeToo movement over the last 18 months has opened the door to allegations against 417 high-profile employees and corporate executives, Bloomberg reports. The majority of those individuals are business leaders and executives—410 of them are men—from a wide array of industries, according to the report by crisis consulting firm Temin & Co.

Many of the allegations stem from incidents that happened years ago, but have only recently come to light. And while the rate of accusations has slowed recently, the percentage of individuals fired has increased.

“It started to become a tsunami, certainly after [Harvey] Weinstein, and it sparked other stories in the same industry and then across all industries,” said Davia Temin, president and CEO of Temin & Co. “I think it’s settled into a new plateau, but it is certainly higher than we’ve ever had before.”

Of the 417 high-profile individuals who were accused of issues related to sexual harassment, racial insensitivity, or other misconduct, 193 were fired, and 122 were either suspended, put on leave, or are having their actions investigated.

Implications for Boards: Workplace misconduct—particularly if it is pervasive or involves a senior executive—can pose significant risks to a company. The board should ensure that the company establishes policies that apply to all levels of the company and appropriately guard employees from undue retaliation. Directors should also review the effectiveness of internal reporting mechanisms. If a robust crisis response plan does not currently include details for a #MeToo scenario, the board should ensure the development of such a plan, including roles and responsibilities for the board and management. 

Key Questions Directors Should Ask: Are the company’s policies around employee misconduct published and easily accessible to employees, clearly delineating what types of behavior are unacceptable? Do employees have a mechanism by which to report misconduct without fear of retaliation? Are our stated behavioral policies consistently applied to all bad actors, or are unfair exceptions made for strong performers or senior leaders? Are there patterns of misconduct that are indicative of a broader systemic issue within our company, and how could we be sure?

NACD Resources: NACD’s Director FAQ: Risk Oversight—Sexual Misconduct offers board-level guidance on strengthening oversight related to this important issue. The brief provides information for directors on understanding associated risks, evaluating the effectiveness of company practices, and asking probing questions of management. Two NACD blog posts also tackle board oversight of sexual misconduct: “It’s Time to Get Uncomfortable in the Boardroom” and “Culture and ESG Governance: Inseparable In the #MeToo Era.”

Related NACD Event: Learn about the elements of exceptional work environments from Humu Inc. CEO Laszlo Bock at the 2018 Global Board Leaders' Summit, Sept. 29–Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C. Register by midnight tonight to receive early bird savings.

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Insights

When Health Care Meets Retail This NACD blog posts takes a look at the future of health care as more retail companies jump into this market. Learn what these trends portend for directors.

Getting the Right Cybersecurity Metrics and Reports for Your Board Here are five questions directors should ask to help ensure they are getting top-quality cybersecurity information from management

Increases in Director Pay How will the new tax law affect director pay? This, plus other highlights are available in this blog about the 2017-2018 Director Compensation Report.

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Complimentary Member Events

Leading Minds of Governance | July 10 | San Francisco, CA | For directors looking for a candid and productive way to discuss today’s most pressing governance challenges with distinguished peer and subject-matter experts

Labor Trends and the Economics of Workforce Management | July 19 | Online | A complimentary webinar for directors who want to be on the cutting edge of today’s workforce trends

Board Resource Centers

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Critical Insights on Emerging Issues

Tools to Help Boards Provide Effective Risk Oversight

Roadmap for Sustainability

NACD in the News

Waiting for Peter Thiel: big tech directors miss shareholder meetings NACD was cited in this Reuters story pondering the importance of directors attending shareholder meetings. 

Have a great weekend, and thank you for your commitment to boardroom excellence.

The NACD Team


National Association of Corporate Directors
1515 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22201
phone 571-367-3700 | fax 571-367-3699


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