About the Report

Every fall, as part of its long-running What Directors Think franchise, Corporate Board Member surveys hundreds of public company board members on the topics that are top of the agenda in the boardroom for the year to come. For this 18th edition of the research, Diligent Institute partnered with Corporate Board Member and asked 400 directors about the challenges and opportunities they see on the horizon as we kick off 2021.

Key Findings:

  • Covid-19 and its impact on the economy tops corporate directors’ list of concerns as we head into 2021, followed closely by the political landscape
  • Half of directors say the events of 2020 have heightened their boards’ awareness of the need for diversity and inclusion—both in and out of the boardroom?
  • Although directors say it’s now become an integral part of the overarching strategy, ESG discussions with shareholders were scarce in 2020
  • Cyber risk is back on boards’ agenda priorities, as companies pivot to a remote-work environment
  • The majority of directors continues to find new technologies and culture as the most challenging aspect to oversee in their role
  • After pausing at the height of the crisis in the spring/summer of 2020, an increasing number of companies are once again turning their attention to growth and M&A opportunities

About the Author

Dottie Schindlinger

Dottie Schindlinger

Executive Director of the Diligent Institute

Dottie Schindlinger is Executive Director of Diligent Institute, the global governance research arm of Diligent Corporation, leading provider of modern governance software. In her role, Dottie provides thought leadership on governance, cybersecurity and technology topics through research and through presentations to boards and executives around the globe.  Her work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and many other publications. She co-authored Governance in the Digital Age: A Guide for the Modern Corporate Board Director, ©2019, Wiley, and co-hosts The Corporate Director Podcast. Dottie was a founding team member of BoardEffect, acquired by Diligent in 2016. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Alice Paul Institute and is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in suburban Philadelphia.