December 7, 2023


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Almost half of new top lawyers at largest U.S companies last year were women

  • New study states 49% of new Fortune 500 basic counsel appointed in 2021 ended up female
  • Law departments have historically failed to recruit and keep women and minorities

(Reuters) – New knowledge shows that nearly half of the top rated legal professionals appointed at the 500 largest providers in the U.S. in 2021 ended up woman, a indication of some variety development throughout substantial corporate legal departments.

The report produced late Wednesday by govt look for and management advisory agency Russell Reynolds Associates claimed that 59 Fortune 500 organizations in total named new standard counsel past calendar year — and 29 of individuals were females.

This 49% figure exceeds the 42% of full Fortune 500 general counsel appointed in 2020 who have been feminine. It truly is a larger leap from the 28% of woman general counsel appointees in this cohort of organizations that Russell Reynolds reported in 2018.

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Company legal departments, like regulation corporations, have traditionally fallen limited when it comes to hiring, advertising and retaining girls and minorities.

Expanding consideration on social and racial justice, as very well as amplified turnover in the basic counsel ranks thanks to COVID-19 may well have spurred diversity improves considering that 2020, according to the report.

Apart from new annually appointments, Cynthia Dow, a guide at Russell Reynolds and an author of the new report, explained that the Fortune 500 has moved “substantially nearer” to gender parity among the sitting down basic counsel.

“In the last 4 a long time, we’ve witnessed a full of the Fortune 500 GCs go from all around 28% feminine to 36% woman,” she reported.

Although there has also been an uptick in ethnic variety for recently appointed standard counsel in the Fortune 500, that gap will not appear to be closing as rapidly.

In accordance to the report, 34% of the new general counsel named in 2021 have been ethnically numerous.

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Our Benchmarks: The Thomson Reuters Trust Rules.