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MCCA Survey: Women Serving as General Counsel At Fortune Companies Reaches New High
In 2010, 101 women served as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies, the most ever, according to a new survey by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Women now hold the top legal spot at 20% of Fortune 500 companies.

MCCA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 1, 2011


 

Contact:
Diane Nowak-Waring
Court Blatchford
410-626-0805
mediarelations@mcca.com


MCCA Survey: Women Serving as General Counsel At Fortune Companies Reaches New High

 

Washington, D.C. – In 2010, 101 women served as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies, the most ever, according to a new survey by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Women now hold the top legal spot at 20% of Fortune 500 companies.

MCCA’s annual Survey of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Women and Minority General Counsel shows that seven more women serve as Fortune 500 general counsel than in 2009, a seven percent increase. Other survey highlights include:

  • The growth in women general counsel was paralleled by a rise in their diversity. About 14.8 percent of the group identified themselves as minorities, making the 2010 group the most diverse in the survey’s 12-year history. They included 86 whites/Caucasians, nine African Americans, three Hispanics, two Asian/Pacific Islanders, and one of Middle Eastern origin.
  • Although women general counsel are based at Fortune 500 companies across the country, four states comprised 40 percent of the list: California with 12 companies, New York with 11, Texas with ten, and Illinois with seven.
  • Women general counsel led legal departments in a variety of industries, but they were most represented in the retail sector (15.8 percent), energy (13.4 percent) and electronics/office equipment (11 percent).
  • Among Fortune 1000 companies (those ranked 501 to 1000 in revenue), the number of women general counsel also saw an increase. Eighty-two women comprise 2010 list, versus 80 the prior year. This included 77 whites/Caucasians, three African Americans and two Hispanics.

“Since MCCA started tracking this information in 1999, the number of women serving as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies has grown 129 percent, a remarkable achievement,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO. “This represents an important change in legal industry culture, but these women have also demonstrated outstanding legal and leadership skills to earn such prestigious posts.”

The full Survey of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Women and Minority General Counsel and accompanying analysis appear in the September/October 2011 issue of Diversity & the Bar, MCCA’s bi-monthly publication, and are available on the MCCA website, www.mcca.com.

MCCA has been surveying women general counsel at Fortune 500 companies since 1999, and has compiled numbers for the Fortune 501 to 1000 since 2004. The accompanying chart tracks the progress of women general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and also the numbers of those who identified themselves as women of color.

MCCA® Survey of Fortune 500/1000 Women General Counsel

Fortune 500
Fortune 501 - 1000

Year

Total women GC Women of Color GC Total Women GC Women of Color GC
2011 101 15 82 5
2010 94 12 81 8
2009 85 9 76 7
2008 92 9 78 6
2007 90 5 70 4
2006 83 6 74 8
2005 76 5 64 8
2004 75 5 49 6

The mission of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association is to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission by publishing research on achieving diversity and best practices in the legal profession, honoring innovative diversity programs with its Employer of Choice, Innovator and Thomas L. Sager awards, and assisting diverse law students through the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Founded in 1997, MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and also has a Southeast regional office in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, go to mcca.com

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