July 30, 2009
MCCA Reports Slight Decline in Number of Women Lawyers Leading Fortune 1000 Companies
WASHINGTON, DC – Despite an economic free-fall, a recent survey of the nation’s thousand largest corporations by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Inc., (MCCA) shows the number of women serving as general counsel declined only slightly.
The “MCCA® 2009 Survey of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Women General Counsel” reveals the following facts:
- Women serve as the top lawyers of eighty-five companies in the Fortune 500 ranking, a decrease of seven (eight percent) from 2008.
- This year’s roster of Fortune 500 women general counsel shows slightly more diversity than in the 2008 survey: seventy-five Caucasians, six African Americans, one Asian Pacific American and two Hispanics. (The ethnicity of one woman general counsel was not confirmed as of publication date.)
- Although women general counsel of Fortune 500 companies are based at major companies throughout the United States, New York leads the list of state locations by hosting eleven companies with women general counsel. California and Illinois each have nine, and Texas is home to eight.
- Women general counsel continue to lead legal departments in a wide range of industries, including petroleum/refining, health care, computers, airlines, utilities, Internet services, food and grocery, publishing and tobacco.
- In the Fortune 501 to 1000 companies, the number of women general counsel also saw a small decline. Seventy-six women comprise this year’s list, versus seventy-eight in 2008.
“We believe the decrease of women general counsel in this year’s survey represents a pause, not a reversal, in the advancement of women at Fortune 1000 companies,” said Veta Richardson, MCCA’s Executive Director. “It is more a reflection of the current marketplace than a reversal in the fortunes of women general counsel. This elite group of women lawyers saw no mass exodus as their members steered their corporations through severe financial challenges. Lessons learned during this time can create superior knowledge, and improve their leadership abilities for the future.”
MCCA® Survey of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Women General Counsel
|Fortune 500||Fortune 501-1000|
|Year||Total Women GC||Women of Color GC||Total Women GC||Women of Color GC|
These numbers were compiled from historical articles in MCCA’s Diversity & the Bar magazine.
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association advocates for the expanded hiring, promotion, and retention of minority attorneys in corporate 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 and Thomas L. Sager awards, and assisting diverse law students through the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. As the preeminent voice on diversity issues in the legal profession, MCCA’s work has been widely recognized as a thought-leader and received several awards, including 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.