Opening the Door

Though the number of Black general counsel has increased in recent years, companies are still challenged to identify and develop Black talent. Enter the recruiting firms. For them, this has long been a mission.

Black In House Counsel | February 8, 2021

The Black In House Counsel Annual Report 2021 article, "Opening the Door," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Cynthia Dow on the moral imperative of inclusivity and how organizations are diversifying their pool of qualified candidates. The article is excerpted below.

For Fortune 1000 corporations, recruiting firms and executive search professionals have long been a lifeline, bringing the companies the best-qualified candidates to fill in-house counsel openings. Today, as diversity and inclusion have become more pressing priorities, recruiters have been called on to consult with companies looking to overhaul mostly white C-suites. And as the country engages
in a broader conversation on racial equity, recruiters are tasked with the dual challenge of meeting the needs of their clients and opening doors for Black talent.

“We have to look at where we are failing to create systems that are allowing people to advance,” says Cynthia Dow, who heads the global Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Officers Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. “It’s a moral imperative. To exclude people from leadership roles and from career advancement is immoral.”​

​Tracking Black Attorneys

At Russell Reynolds Associates, recruiters have ramped up a targeted effort to identify and track young Black attorneys even before general counsel positions are available. Then, when jobs begin to open up, specifications are shared with high-profile Black attorneys, executives, and partners at law firms who have strong networks of sitting and aspiring GCs. Dow says the goal is not only to inform
individuals they already know would be interested in applying, but to raise job awareness among a larger pool of qualified people.

To read the full article, click here.

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Opening the Door