find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
General counsel outstrip other execs in diversity stakes

General counsel outstrip other execs in diversity stakes

General counsel roles at ASX 100 companies are increasingly being filled by women, even as other senior executive positions have seen the number of women flatline.

A new report by KPMG for the ASX Education and Research Program found the percentage of female CEOs at Australia’s 100 largest companies was unchanged between 2011 and 2016, sitting at just five per cent.

The number of women in COO or deputy CEO positions similarly stagnated at 10 per cent over the four years, while female representation among CFOs actually dropped, from eight per cent to six per cent.

By contrast, legal teams within these corporations have improved their ranks of female leaders.

Between 2011 and 2016, the percentage of female general counsel rose from 33 per cent to 39 per cent.

This makes the general counsel role one of the most diverse executive positions within ASX 100 corporations, coming second only to human resources where female representation sits at 64 per cent.

The strong showing of women among general counsel also contrasts favourably with the law firm sector, where just around 23.3 per cent of partners are women, according to data from the Women Lawyers Association of NSW.

Nonetheless, the report from KPMG warned that despite gains in respect of gender diversity in senior positions, "level of progress has been slow".

This is despite the report finding 99 per cent of ASX 200 companies have established a diversity policy.

KPMG people advisory partner Ben Travers suggested current approaches towards diversity within corporations are falling short.

"It is to be expected that the proportion of women at senior executive level may take longer to emerge due to the lead-in time for initiatives such as sponsorship and mentoring programs," he said.

"But the slow pace of change in female representation in these roles over the past four years highlights the need for companies to rethink their strategy."

He pointed to data from the report that showed that committing to a diversity target helped companies improve the diversity of their leadership team.

"Publicly committing to quantifiable objectives really does drive good diversity outcomes," he said.



Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

General counsel outstrip other execs in diversity stakes
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...