“There is obviously enormous value in NAFTA, but directors also see opportunities beyond the agreement,” says Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO of ICD. “The strong majority of our members are bullish on the economy and are expecting to invest in the future of their firms.”
Human capital issues are top of mind
The ICD survey also shows that societal issues, particularly related to human capital and the workforce, have begun to influence boardroom discussions. Directors say the issues most commonly discussed relate to workforce integration of new Canadians, increasing the involvement of Indigenous peoples, the impact of an aging population, and access to healthcare and mental healthcare. Over half of directors have considered or have developed a strategy regarding racial and cultural diversity as well as for gender inequality.
However, climate change has yet to make an impression on many directors. One-third of board directors have factored climate change into their strategy, but half of respondents do not see climate change as an important challenge facing their boards.
“It’s very positive to see that discussions about human capital, fairness and equality have been elevated to the boardroom, and that directors are connecting the dots between social and business challenges,” says Bhardwaj. “However, directors may need to drill down further on certain issues, especially on climate change and relate these to the future of their businesses.”
About the survey:
The ICD commissioned Environics Research to oversee an online survey of its membership.
The survey was fielded between Sept. 29-Oct. 23, 2017.
A total of 684 responded to the invitation, yielding a response rate of 5.7% overall. A sample of this size produces results that can be considered accurate to within +/3.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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Learn more about the ICD
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Charmain Emerson, Director, Communications at 416-593-7741 x235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.