GC Roles at Large Banks Went Mostly to Women in 2017


Big Law Business | February 5, 2018

Bloomberg's Big Law Business article, “GC Roles at Large Banks Went Mostly to Women in 2017," exclusively cited Russell Reynolds Associates data and quoted Consultant Cynthia Dow about the rising number of female General Counsels in financial services. The article is excerpted below.

The ranks of women general counsel in the Fortune 500 continued to grow in 2017, particularly in the financial services industry, though it remains more male-dominated than other sectors.

Of the 86 financial services companies in the Fortune 500, 11 hired new general counsel in 2017. Six of those were women, according to Cynthia Dow, head of the legal officers practice at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

“It moved the needle quite significantly,” Dow told Big Law Business. She’s been recording data on new GC appointments since 2011.


“One of the huge appointments was Kate Adams being appointed to be general counsel of Apple,” said Dow. “Of the Fortune 100 appointments, there were 7 appointments and three out of the seven were women.” Katherine Adams, formerly senior vice president and general counsel of Honeywell, joined Apple in October. Suzette Long was appointed general counsel of Caterpillar in August and Lucy Fato joined AIG in October.

Dow attributes the increases to a “concerted effort” among large corporations to find and promote women into top lawyer roles.

“It feels like it’s been a priority,” she said. “It’s not been just by chance.”

To read the full article, click here.

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GC Roles at Large Banks Went Mostly to Women in 2017