Only one in four General Counsel or Chief Compliance Officer positions is held by a female or ethnically diverse person in 350 of the largest publicly listed companies in the EMEA Region.

According to research by Adamson & Partners, companies are still lacking when it comes to reaching equal and diverse ratios of professionals in senior legal and compliance roles, as well as displaying a disconnect between hiring expectations and the actual talent pools.

There were several key findings to the research:

  • Across six major geographies, (UK, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, France, and the Netherlands) females and ethnically diverse make up no more than 35% of General Counsels and 34% of Chief Compliance Officers.
  • Germany’s Next Generation stands to increase the number of females and ethnically diverse professionals by 10%.
  • No geography analysed reached the 10% mark for ethnic diversity.

Peter Heuschen, Legal Director EMEA, says:

“The D&I numbers for in-house Legal & Compliance are more promising than for other corporate functions but there is still a long way to go. If one looks at the demographics of the next generation of Legal & Compliance executives and it becomes clear that it could take even more than one generation to achieve equality. That is if D&I is understood to mean ethnic or gender diversity but, of course, there are so many more markers that are relevant.”

If you are interested in a more detailed look at the data, you can read more here or download the whitepaper.

About the research:

This research is based on an evaluation of the gender and ethnic diversity ratios of General Counsels and Chief Compliance Officers of the largest publicly-listed companies in EMEA. The information was obtained through analysing the major financial indexes: FTSE 100, CAC 40, DAX, MDAX, FORBES 2000, and SMI Expanded in Autumn 2021.

About us:

Adamson & Partners is a global executive search and advisory firm specialising in the Legal and Intellectual Property sectors. We help companies find exceptionally talented individuals, teams, or businesses, and connect them through our range of recruitment and advisory services. We work internationally and cover niche areas within our specialisms, providing our clients with the knowledge on how to grow and develop their businesses for the long term.


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For more information, please contact

Peter Heuschen

Legal Director EMEA