Impact and Speed of the Pandemic Create New Risk Profiles

By NACD Staff


COVID-19 Advisory Council Brief Risk Oversight

The impact of the pandemic on society has been profound, and its impact has been no less real on companies, both in human and in business terms. The pandemic has exacerbated already existing inequities, with frontline workers bearing the brunt of the physical, mental, and emotional burden.

At the same time, economic pressures that necessitated workforce reductions earlier in the pandemic have shifted and are now creating labor shortages in many sectors as hiring picks up. This is shifting power to employees, who are using their voices to call for more flexibility about where, when, and how they work.

NACD, along with PwC and Sidley Austin, convened some 30 chairs of risk and audit committees from Fortune 500 companies to assess how business has changed and the impact that the pandemic has had on risk profiles. In addition to discussions over workplace challenges and political and social polarization, participants focused on the growing uncertainty about how the economy would respond to the aftershocks of the pandemic, and the increasing pressure on companies to take political positions. (Note: The meeting was held using a modified version of the Chatham House Rule, under which participants’ quotes (italicized) are not attributed to those individuals or their organizations, with the exception of cohosts.) 

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