■ ■ Recognizing the gap. In 2017, women make up for 25 percent of the Fortune 500 general counsel, and 26. 8 percent of S&P general counsel.
However, minorities make up just 10 percent of general counsel in Fortune 500 companies and 11. 62 percent in S&P companies.
■ ■ Reinforce the design. The deficiencies in retention and promotion may be attributed to the design of diversity initiatives. Diversity
initiatives are insufficient if they do not also increase the meaningful participation at elite and leadership levels of the profession.
■ ■ Cultivating the future. The underrepresentation and the slow increase in racially diverse leadership can generate an adverse cyclical effect that slows
future growth. Having a diverse leadership team can enhance networking, mentorship, and sponsorship opportunities for cultivating future talent.
■ ■ Future problems. While minorities constitute 27 percent of law school students, they make up for just 10 percent of general counsel in Fortune
500 companies. The slow speed of change poses a significant problem, as the demographics of corporate leadership don’t align with the
A WIDENING GAP:
The Unequal Growth
Rate in Gender and
By Mark Roellig and Coco Xiao There is little doubt that we are living in a dynamic world, and the legal field
is not exempt to the evolving demands of the market. The shifts in demographics and the growing
awareness of the benefits of diversity and inclusion have led to an increased endorsement of diversity
initiatives at both firms and corporations. 1 Over the past few years, these efforts have led to some
successes, but the progress has not been uniform.