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NextGen Magazine


Poll: Majority of Boards Never Discussed Sexual Harassment as a Problem

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 11, 2018
Sexual Harassment

A recent poll has found that while there has been improvement on corporate boards addressing sexual harassment and taking steps to reduce it, the majority still have yet to do either. The poll, conducted jointly by Boardlist (which recruits and connects female board candidates) and business consulting firm Qualtrics, surveyed 134 Board members and 46 venture capitalists in the U.S.

What they found was that 75 percent said their board has taken no action in response to the growing wave of harassment revelations, 78 percent said their board has not even discussed developing a plan of action, and 57 percent said their board hasn't even discussed the topic at all.

Despite these figures, they actually represent a slight improvement over the last time they did this survey six months ago. In that one, 77 percent said their board has not discussed a plan of action, 88 percent said it had not implemented a plan of action, and 77 percent had not discussed the subject at all. 

This is all despite the fact that 64 percent of board members surveyed said they have personally experienced a "MeToo" moment in the course of their careers. When asked why they felt their boards have not picked up this issue, respondents said that the issue was threatening to the CEO, not seen as relevant, or not seen as a priority. 

The same poll found venture capital to be improving much faster. In the same poll, 89 percent of venture capitalists have said that their firm has discussed sexism or the broader #MeToo movement, 54 percent said their firm has plans or has already taken action, and 68 percent said they advised their smaller companies without HR departments to do so as well.