Facts & Figures: Corporate Directors need more IT knowledge

From diversity in corporate counsel to risk concerns, an inside look at the numbers that count

The IT Crowd


The IT Crowd

Expecting your Board of Directors to understand your company’s need for increasingly essential cybersecurity strategies? According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, you’re probably not in luck. In its Annual Corporate Directors Survey, PwC found that 32 percent of the 934 surveyed company directors do not have a “sufficient understanding of IT to support the company’s strategy and IT risk mitigation.” That could make it a challenge to pass increased cybersecurity legal.

15% say IT is critical, noting the increased importance of the IT revolution at their companies (only 13% said it was critical in 2012)

61% want to spend more time on IT-related risks in the coming year

35% use outside consultants to advise on IT strategy—up 8% from 2012

24% report that they are not sufficiently engaged in understanding the company’s level of cybersecurity spend

Diversity Concerns


Diversity Concerns

While diversity may be up in the legal sector, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) says there is still room for improvement. The MCCA released its annual diversity survey of Fortune 1000 legal leaders on Sept. 16, and it found that 7.2 percent of Fortune 1000 chief legal officers are lawyers of color. While that is an increase over 2012’s total, comparing this year’s figure to the 35 percent of non-Caucasians in the U.S. population indicates there still remains ample room for growth.

48 general counsel of color in the Fortune 500, compared with 45 based on last year’s results

19 Fortune 500 general counsel of color are women, up one from 2012

24 additional diverse chief legal leaders, 17 men and seven women, in companies which ranked in the Fortune 501 to 1000

Courtroom to Board Room


Courtroom to Board Room

The line between legal and business is more blurred than ever for general counsel. At least, that’s what a Terralex survey from Sept. 20 has revealed. The survey polled general counsel at 270 corporations, analyzing their top concerns and how they find and manage outside counsel. 50 percent of respondents claimed that they would categorize their job function as a “stakeholder in business decisions,” an impressive number considering that only 9 percent said they are members of their company’s board of directors.

85% GCs who find outside law firms from direct referrals

33% GCs that perform research online to find firms

28% GCs who make use of online auctions in farming out work

20% GCs that would like to become members of the company’s board of directors

A Transparent View


A Transparent View

How many companies can say they are truly transparent these days with regard to their donations, especially with all sides of the political spectrum becoming more fractured than ever before? According to study by the Center for Political Accountability and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’s Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, the answer is a surprisingly high amount. More companies in the S&P 500 have agreed to increased transparency, revealing the contributions they give to trade associations and nonprofit organizations. Legally, companies do not have to disclose this information.

84 of the 195 largest companies in the S&P 500 have agreed to reveal their contributions

70 of those 195 companies revealed their contributions last year, making 2013’s figure a 17 percent increase

51 companies have said they would disclose donations to other nonprofits, up from 31 in 2012

Risky Business


Risky Business

Feel like taking a risk? Many top business leaders don’t, as a recent Deloitte survey has revealed that most C-suite executives would like to place a higher focus on risk and compliance moving forward. Among the 300 respondents, over 80 percent of whom were C-suite level executives (with board members and specialized risk executives filling in the gaps), 81 percent of those surveyed said they have an explicit focus on managing risk.

94% said that their company’s approach to compliance has changed within the past three years

40% said reputation was their top risk and compliance concern, up 14 percent from 2010

32% reported the company’s business model as their top concern

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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