A new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found that engagement between board directors and shareholders has reached a new high in 2022.

PwC surveyed over 700 public company directors in order to assess how board oversight and board practices are shifting in response to the rise in both shareholder and consumer expectations.

The survey found that 60% of directors said that a non-CEO member of their board met with shareholders during the year. This has risen from 53% in 2021. Of the directors surveyed in 2022, 90% said that their engagement with shareholders was productive.

PwC also highlighted a disparity between large and small companies on ESG commitments. Of the surveyed directors from companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, just 27% said that their board had discussed climate change, compared to 72% of directors from companies with over $10 billion in revenue.

Additionally, over two-thirds of female directors said that reducing the impact of climate change is a priority even if it impacts on short-term performance, compared to less than half of male directors.

The study revealed a push for director turnover with 48% of directors indicating an intention to replace at least one board member.