More gender diversity among general counsels

    By: Clair Fuller on Jun 12, 2017

    Cynthia Dowd and Lloyd M. Johnson Jr. write, "First, the good news: The number of women appointed to general counsel jobs in the Fortune 500 increased sharply again in 2016. The even better news? The way women are hired for the GC role appears to be changing – a development that could accelerate the number of women leading legal departments in the years to come.


    For several years, Russell Reynolds Associates has been collecting and examining data on Fortune 500 in-house hiring and how women are faring as candidates for the top legal jobs at those companies. In 2012, our numbers showed that Fortune 500 companies filled 24 percent of their open general counsel positions with female candidates. In 2016, 35 percent of those jobs went to women — an increase of nearly 50 percent over the course of five years.​

    Even more encouraging are changes in the way women are being hired for the GC role. Traditionally, more women have ascended to the general counsel job as internal candidates promoted from inside a company. Prior to 2014, 28 percent of women appointed to a Fortune 500 GC position were internal candidates. Just 19 percent came from outside the company. 

    During the last three years, however, the number of women moving from external positions has rocketed — up a remarkable 63 percent. Now, as many women are being hired for the GC role from external sources as those who are being appointed internally.​"


    Released: June 12, 2017, 10:13 am | Updated: June 12, 2017, 11:40 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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