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15 January 2020

Initiative to grow black GC count at top US companies boosted by website launch

Black General Counsel 2025 site contains directory of GCs and application process for 'GC-ready' candidates

An initiative to double the number of black general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies has received a fillip with the launch of its official website. The Black General Counsel 2025 site sets out to serve as a resource centre for aspiring GCs, providing help and advice on how to rise up the in-house career ladder.

It features a directory of black GCs in post at Fortune 500 companies, private companies and smaller businesses and a formal process to identify ‘ready now’ GC candidates. In order to put their names forward candidates must be sponsored by a current or former GC or chief executive.

The site also contains a ‘roadmap’ which sets out the core criteria successful candidates need to attain in order to succeed.

The initiative was co-founded in 2017 by April Miller Boise, the newly announced GC of Eaton, and Ernest Tuckett, former GC Americas of AkzoNobel.

It aims is to increase the number of black GCs in Fortune 500 companies and large private companies from around 50 to 100 by 2025.

“Reaching this goal would be an incredible leap forward,” said Tuckett. “The influence in the C-suite, the aggregate legal spend and the number of hiring decisions under the leadership of these black GCs can be a game changer for the cause of diversity in the legal profession.”

Boise (pictured) added: “One of the reasons the program has resonated with people is because we are working to cultivate substantive conversations and relationships among black lawyers and to drive clear, very tangible goals to help move the needle in the C-suite.”

A number of law firms are actively supporting the initiative, including Thompson Hine, which helped fund the website development, and Beveridge & Diamond and Cooley which have provided in-kind support and assistance.

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