Earlier this month, partners Jennifer Kennedy Park and Kimberly Spoerri participated in a panel co-hosted by The Conference Board and Cleary Gottlieb to discuss the board’s oversight role in issues related to sexual harassment.

Moderator Doug Chia, executive director of The Conference Board, Jen and Kim discussed relevant legal regulations and frameworks and the risks of non-compliance, as well as the policies, procedures and best practices boards and senior management can employ to mitigate risks.  They discussed the responsibility the board has in setting company culture through tone at the top, and how the failure by the board and senior management to be proactive in this area can affect compliance and oversight throughout a company.  The discussion also included ways the board can tangibly address these issues. 

In addition, the panel discussed measures to ensure sufficient information is reported to the board so that the board is informed about issues percolating within a company, both on a regular and periodic basis and in near real-time.  The webcast also included a discussion about problem situations where the board suspects there is an issue or an issue has emerged publicly.

The panel complements two recent writings by Cleary Gottlieb.  Please click here to read our alert memorandum Confronting Sexual Harassment in Today’s Workplace:  8 Questions Companies Should be Asking Themselves and here to read our blog post Bringing the #MeToo Movement Into the Board Room.  In addition, a replay of the webcast is available here.