A recent survey by The Conference Board of 1,614 CEOs worldwide have revealed regional variations in perspectives, in particular around ESG social priorities. Within Europe, the respondents ranked labour conditions, gender equality and economic opportunities as their top priorities. This was similar to many other regions, with the US as an outlier, viewing economic opportunity, race and gender equality as their top priorities.
A recent survey by The Conference Board of 1,614 CEOs worldwide has revealed regional variations in perspectives on a number of matters, and identified some interesting insight into views on the current and future operating environment of organisations, such as:
- 55% of respondents expect that pricing pressures will last until mid-2023 or longer and that over 40% believed that their organisation wasn’t ‘well prepared’ for an inflation crisis.
- Labour shortages drive talent retention and that companies should prepare for higher wage and benefit costs together with increased staff turnover in 2022.
- Respondents expect the number of remote employees will significantly exceed pre-pandemic levels.
The survey also found that while priorities for CEOs globally are broadly similar, the level of importance differs by region. Within Europe, the respondents ranked labour conditions as their top priority, followed by gender equality and in third place the economic environment. This was similar to many other regions, with the US as an outlier, viewing economic opportunity as the top priority, followed by racial equality and then and gender equality.
It seems clear from the respondents’ position on inflation and labour matters that there is a perceived risk of higher costs and indications of potential wage spiral as organisations need to consider how they are able to attract and retain their employees, while considering a broad spectrum of social economic factors. Boards and especially remuneration committees need to be mindful of executive pay policies and packages, as during a period of inflation, cost of living increase and wage concerns, issuing substantial executive pay increases may well create friction with the workforce and wider stakeholders. Now is such an important time to ensure continued, effective and broad stakeholder engagement on remuneration practices.