Taking Stock; Looking Forward
Each year, MCCA® publishes the list of minorities who are general counsel at America’s largest and most profitable companies. Think about what it takes both personally and professionally to earn that position.
Smart, polished, politically savvy, strategic, client-focused, seasoned—these are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind. Add requirements like having good judgment, the abilities to juggle multiple priorities, manage people, communicate effectively with lawyers and non-lawyer executives alike, and balance one’s home life. Sound tough? Well, that’s probably only the half of it.
In addition to MCCA’s general counsel survey, one article you won’t want to miss tells of Microsoft’s groundbreaking approach to advance diversity by offering financial carrots to its outside law firms. Talk about the incentive of pay for performance! Microsoft’s initiative is unique and, while it’s a bold step, general counsel Brad Smith and his team laid the groundwork by involving their outside counsel as Microsoft shaped both the incentives and the requirements. Read how.
Last, please check out the agenda for MCCA’s annual conference, slated for November 19th at the New York Marriott Marquis, and register early. The luncheon programs led by top general counsel and law firm managing partners will address what happened at their Call to Action Diversity Summit held earlier this year—and, more importantly, what has been going on since then to make progress. If you care about advancing diversity, you need to attend these programs and let your voice be heard by people in a position to make a difference.
See you in New York in November! DB
Veta T. Richardson
MCCA thanks freelance writer Rachel Ray for all of her work in the preparation of the article, analysis of the survey results, and related research; Vicki Richardson, Esq., for completing the extensive and time-consuming survey of 1,000 companies to compile data on race/ethnicity and gender of the general counsel; and Patrick Folliard for authoring the profiles of the three women general counsel featured in this article.
From the September/October 2009 issue of Diversity & The Bar®