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Leading Lady Lawyers - Janet Carrig

Janet Langford Carrig, recently retired senior vice president of legal, general counsel and corporate secretary at ConocoPhillips, is an experienced board member and senior executive with a demonstrated history of working in the oil & energy and consumer products industries. In this episode of Leading Lady Lawyers, Janet shares her experiences as a woman in the legal profession, discussing how she has navigated gender stereotypes, helped expand others’ perspectives and been a mentor both in the boardroom and courtroom.



Retiring in 2018, Janet joined ConocoPhillips in 2006 as deputy general counsel and corporate secretary. Previously, she served as Kmart Corporation's senior vice president, chief administrative officer and chief compliance officer; as Kellogg Company's executive vice president of corporate development and administration, general counsel and secretary; and as Sara Lee Corporation's senior vice president, secretary and general counsel. She began her career as a law clerk for a judge in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and was later an associate with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and a partner at Sidley & Austin. Janet serves as a trustee for Columbia Funds. She has also served on the boards of directors for the Houston Grand Opera, the National Association of Corporate Directors Texas TriCities Chapter, United Airlines, Grinnell College, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Yellowstone Park Foundation and on the New York Stock Exchange's Legal Advisory Committee. Janet received a bachelor's degree in history, with honors, from Grinnell College and a JD from Yale University.

Transcription Below

Major, Lindsey & Africa presents Leading Lady lawyers, a podcast focusing on the work and lives of female lawyers leading the profession. 

[00:00:09] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:09] Welcome to Major, Lindsey & Africa's podcast series Leading Lady Lawyers, where we focus on notable female leaders in the legal profession. I am Leslie Goldman, managing director in the In-House Practice Group at Major, Lindsey & Africa, and I'm the host of this series.

[00:00:30] In this series, we will ask our guests to share their unique insights and perspectives on key elements of leadership in the legal profession including their own personal stories and struggles and some of the pivotal moments of their career. In addition to some of the challenges, we want them to share some of the ways that they may have either consciously or in retrospect unconsciously used their gender as an advantage.

[00:00:54] So today, I am honored to have with me as our first guest of the series Janet Langford Carrig. Janet's career is unparalleled. After Yale law school and her third circuit clerkship, she journeyed through two of the most prestigious law firms in the world to ultimately serve as general counsel for three household name companies--Kellogg, Sarah Lee and ConocoPhillip--and somehow she was able to fit in hours and hours of service for nonprofits.  Welcome, Janet.

[00:00:01] Janet Carrig: [00:00:01] Thank you for having me.

[00:00:03] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:03] So let me start by asking you about your resume. You have what many would call a model resume, the one that they would cart out for show and tell. You've had an exceptional career. Do you accept that? Do you feel that way? Do you feel responsible or accountable as a role model for other women?

[00:00:24] Janet Carrig: [00:00:24] I don't know that I actually think about my resume very much. But I do realize that against all odds, I became a role model and I have embraced that and tried to try to use that for good.

[00:00:41] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:41] So do you perceive it as a burden or blessing?

[00:00:02] Janet Carrig: [00:00:02] I perceive it as a blessing. I really do. I've always enjoyed mentoring people and especially women. And so being in a role where I am looked on to do that is very comfortable for me.

[00:00:11] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:11] So when did gender diversity become a thing in our collective consciousness? At what point in your career did gender diversity become a push?

[00:00:24] Janet Carrig: [00:00:24] I think it's been a push my entire career.

[00:00:27] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:27] So it was more as a defense, a legal defense to have a woman present.

[00:00:34] Janet Carrig: [00:00:34] A legal, a moral... Nobody likes to think of themselves as a discriminator. Right?

[00:00:40] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:40] Right, right.

[00:00:41] Janet Carrig: [00:00:41] So if you can point to you've got one, it feels better. .

[00:00:00]Leslie Goldman: [00:00:00] I'm just curious to know so so when you are interviewing for firms out of, well you were interviewing for clerkships out of law school... So let's just talk about that for a second.  Was it more difficult as a woman to get a clerkship back then, or again, did they need the number? And you know, what did your judge ultimately say to you, if anything?

[00:00:08] Janet Carrig: [00:00:08] So I think again there was a desire to have a woman.  My judge was a wonderful man. I can't say enough good things about him, but he was a product of his era, you know, which was very much the, you know, the Don Draper kind.  So we were talking about the clerks to replace my class. There were three clerks; for me, it was two men and one woman--me. And we were looking through the resumes and I was pushing a couple women, and he said, you know, I've never had more than one woman. My wife told me they would fight like cats. And I persevered and I convinced him to hire two women and one man in the class that replaced us. And when I went to...

[00:00:33] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:33] And what did his wife say?

[00:00:35] Janet Carrig: [00:00:35] I don't know, but when I had breakfast with him a year later, he said, you know those two, they are thick as thieves. It's terrific.

[00:00:43] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:43] Wow, that's eye-opening.

[00:00:45] Janet Carrig: [00:00:45] It was very eye-opening.

[00:00:46] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:46] Hopefully he hired two women again after that. So when, and presumably you got your law firm position before you got your clerkship or you knew where you were going, when you were actually interviewing back in the 80s, were there any law firms, you know Ruth Bader Ginsburg did the her documentary talked about law firms that wouldn't take her because she was a woman, did you experience that?

[00:00:19]Janet Carrig: [00:00:19]I think that wasn't that wasn't my generation. I don't think there was anybody who said we don't take women.

[00:00:03] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:03] Yeah.

[00:00:05] Janet Carrig: [00:00:05] You know, whether the standards were different, you know, I couldn't really say. But I didn't feel that I experienced any discrimination in getting a job out of law school.

[00:00:04]Leslie Goldman: [00:00:04] So you were you know, corporate and securities attorney and it was also during the day when there were a lot of boondoggles, right? People were taking people out, That didn't...you didn't have...it didn't have any impact because I know that when I was a junior attorney, and it was a decade later, but I couldn't join on a lot of the client development trips or outings because they were, frankly, they were inappropriate, and I didn't feel comfortable and then, of course, then there were the golf outings and things like that. Did you, you have, did you have any run-ins or any difficulties with, you, know client development?

[00:00:41] Janet Carrig: [00:00:41] I did. Yeah, you know, I sat in strip bars in a gray flannel suit more times than I would like.

[00:00:46] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:46] You did? Oh, man. Okay.

[00:00:49] Janet Carrig: [00:00:49] But I was just going to be there.

[00:00:51] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:51] Yeah, that's interesting because I decided I wasn't going to, and I wonder if you're being there...or did people look at you and say, "Wow, she's got a thick skin"?

[00:01:00] Janet Carrig: [00:01:00] You know, I don't know. I don't know, but but it was definitely an era when didn't feel like the call to diversity ought to change their behavior.

[00:01:09] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:09] Did your kids start arriving during Wachtel?

[00:01:13] Janet Carrig: [00:01:13] No, actually I left Wachtel when I got married because I just concluded that as much as I loved it, I wasn't sure how...I couldn't keep potted plants alive, I didn't know how I was going to have children.

[00:01:25]Leslie Goldman: [00:01:25]So then you went on to Sidley and was that also as inclusive in also as welcoming?

[00:00:06] Janet Carrig: [00:00:06] Yes. It was. It was a very welcoming very. It's actually one of the places that Marty Lipton encouraged me to go to because when I told him I was resigning to move to Chicago, he sat down with his Rolodex and said, "Well, this is very bad news for us, but this is very good good news for you. You're getting married. Let's find the right place for you." And as I interviewed around Chicago to figure out where to go, it was an era when really the idea that women even for a brief period would become part-time partners was simply just not with in people's consciousness, and Sidley was one of the few firms at that time that said "Yes, we have a part-time opportunity for partners." And that's really why I went there. I never went part-time but knowing it was there made a huge difference to me.

[00:00:58] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:58] Wow. Today, you know, there's only 19 percent of equity partners are women. Were you an equity partner? I don't know if there was a distinction back then.

[00:01:07] Janet Carrig: [00:01:07] There was not.

[00:01:08] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:08] Yeah. Okay.

[00:01:08] Janet Carrig: [00:01:08] I was an equity partner because that's all there was.

[00:01:10] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:10] Because that's a pretty, I mean, that's a very big deal, but it regardless of the of the year, regardless of the era when you were at Sidley. And were you always part-time?

[00:01:20] Janet Carrig: [00:01:20] No, I never would have part-time.

[00:01:21] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:21] You never went part time? So you went there because you wanted to be able to do part-time.

[00:01:27] Janet Carrig: [00:01:27] I wanted to be able to because I didn't know what being a mother and having a career would be like.

[00:01:31] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:31] Did you have any other female partners?

[00:01:33] Janet Carrig: [00:01:33] Yes, there were female partners.

[00:01:36] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:36] So were you able to, at the time, or did it occur to you to focus on women behind you? Even at...I mean you were young partner and and and now I think it's a little easier for us to bring up a dialogue in large groups about what are we doing with the, you know, on the diversity front? How are we going to make women feel included? Were you able to focus on women coming behind you or were you afraid of being a squeaky wheel at that time or, you know, had you figured out whether or not you were going to have to try and help other women come? You did as a clerk obviously.

[00:02:14] Janet Carrig: [00:02:14] Well, I always had a special, I think, mission, I guess, to help women, but I also had a mission to help young man. I mean I had a group at Sidley who of men and women that I hired after I left Sidley, you know, they were people I brought along, and I think my approach was less to be a squeaky wheel than to illuminate to illuminate how it felt. You know one time I was at lunch, this was at Sara Lee, with two women who worked for me and one man. So it was the four of us at lunch, and we were talking about new designer at Dior and how it was going to be different than the old designer at Dior, and you know, were we going to buy some of the new stuff or not? And at the guy said, "Well, could we talk about a subject of general interest?" And I said, "Do you know how many discussions of fantasy baseball I've sat through in my life?" So just helping guys understand, you know?

[00:03:23] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:23] Right?

[00:03:24] Janet Carrig: [00:03:24] You don't have the right to have us talk about something you're interested in and unless I have that right. During my lifetime, the discrimination was more subtle. I really do. It was more the presumption that we all want to talk about fantasy baseball, right? It was more..

[00:03:42] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:42] The analogies are all, you know, football analogies or whatever.

[00:03:46] Janet Carrig: [00:03:46] In Chicago, it's all football analogies. In New York, it's all sex analogy.

[00:03:50] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:50] So back then you wouldn't call them out when they said things like that. I mean now in our days of PC, we would in the last, you know, 10 years, we call people out on that.

[00:03:58]Janet Carrig: [00:03:58] Yeah, no, no, but yes, it was always, you know, we got the final 10 yards. It was a long time before I even knew what that meant.

[00:04:06] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:06] That didn't bother you that you didn't know what the final yards meant?

[00:04:10] Janet Carrig: [00:04:10] I think it was you know, it's... It's... I think it's that way today. Honestly, I think it's still a desire to have women in the workforce a desire that they succeed but a lack of understanding of the subtlety of the barriers.

[00:04:28] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:28] Yes.

[00:04:28] Janet Carrig: [00:04:28] Because I have been extremely frustrated that when I graduated from law school in 1983, I think NYU and most law schools at that point where 50% women.

[00:04:39] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:39] Wow, back then, okay.

[00:04:41] Janet Carrig: [00:04:41] And we were the pipeline and everybody would say, you know, well, we aren't that great at the top. We've got the pipeline.

[00:04:48] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:48] Right.

[00:04:48] Janet Carrig: [00:04:48] We still aren't that great at the top. Something's the matter with the pipeline. I think we have to start focusing on that.

[00:04:54] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:54] Right right. I was looking at the statistic. It's still 28 percent female at the Fortune 500 and that that number goes down if you look at 1,000, Fortune  1000 and then, of course, boards, it's even worse.

[00:05:06] Janet Carrig: [00:05:06] Exactly what is our expectation? Is our expectation that we have a few women so we can say, "See? We don't discriminate." I was at a meeting where several large institutional investors were present and one of them said, "You know, let me be clear. Our goal is not one or two women on each board. Our goal is gender parity."

[00:05:28]Leslie Goldman: [00:05:28] Yes.

[00:05:28] Janet Carrig: [00:05:28] And the moderator stopped and said, "I've never heard that before. Is that an appropriate goal? Why would that be the goal?" To which my answer was, why wouldn't it?

[00:05:37] Leslie Goldman: [00:05:37] Interesting interesting. It's funny because the way that you talk about people who could otherwise ruffle feathers is very matter-of-fact when I hear you talk about it. It's like, okay. Well, we're going to overcome that, moderator. We're going to show why.

[00:05:55] Janet Carrig: [00:05:55] Exactly.

[00:05:56] Leslie Goldman: [00:05:56] Right? And then then that's a very good way to think, you know. So tell me a little bit about, I know you've been on management teams where you may be started as the only woman, maybe you've ended as the only women, maybe you were the only woman the whole time, and I was on a management team where I started as the only woman and I ended up being one of five out of nine on the team, ultimately, and then it would back to like two, but it was so different. So tell me about, you know, the dynamic when it's one versus two  and whether you had any experiences where you would put an idea out and then five minutes later. Somebody else would put it out and the CEO would say, "Oh, that's a great idea, Bob."

[00:00:10] Janet Carrig: [00:00:10] Any senior woman who talked to has experienced this and it's usually weigh more than five minutes before they tumbled to it. But yes, that's true. But yes there is and I wonder if because I know in my teaching in my work with women in my department.  I actually do think like we do. You know and so it's easier for me to understand what they're saying and to read between the lines and it could well be that men just understand men better. And so if I'm saying an idea and I think it's completely clear I'm saying it in a way that just doesn't resonate at some level with them.

[00:00:52] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:52] Hmm.  That's...

[00:00:53] Janet Carrig: [00:00:53] I've always maintained that the entire answer to gender diversity in our world is for the government to mandate 50% women at the top for 10 years and then there are no other protection. Because if you get 50% women at the top for 10 years, you're going to get that voice in there and it's going to be...

[00:01:08] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:08] Interesting. So you support the California proposal?

[00:01:12] Janet Carrig: [00:01:12] I mean, honestly, I realize that the constitution has some things to say about this, but but I really do know in my own experience. It's easier for me to intuit what a woman is saying, and so I'm sure that's true of men to yes.

[00:01:27] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:27] Yes, definitely, and I agree with you, which is probably why we spend so much time with our gender, our same gender. Exactly. And by the way, do you think that spending a lot of time in in like women's events with women-- do you think that's helpful or do you think we spend too much time in women's events, you know talking about women's issues and excluding...?

[00:01:52] Janet Carrig: [00:01:52] You know, I think you need. I always encourage women to get a male mentor because you don't really want reinforcement of how you think you know, and and my husband and I actually have had a number of people over asking for help with this problem or that problem. And one of my friends said, you know, it's so unbelievably helpful to have the two of you because we get the male perspective and we get the female perspective. Yes.

[00:02:22] Leslie Goldman: [00:02:22] Interesting.

[00:02:22] Janet Carrig: [00:02:22] I almost wonder if there isn't a role for saying people need a mentor of each gender. You know, the three-way mentoring.

[00:02:33]Leslie Goldman: [00:02:33] So that begs the question of wouldn't like the CEO and the GC, wouldn't it behoove them to have one of one sex and one of the other?

[00:02:43] Janet Carrig: [00:02:43] Seems like it.

[00:02:46] Leslie Goldman: [00:02:46] Or the CEO and the CEO or...

[00:02:49] Janet Carrig: [00:02:49] But I think it's important for women to spend time with women because the problem with being a woman in the workforce is you're never not a woman so you don't know how to interpret what happened. Did you actually screw up? Where you actually not prepared?

[00:03:05] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:05] Right?

[00:03:05] Janet Carrig: [00:03:05] Or was this behavior out of bounds. And having, you know, having groups to talk about that with is helpful, but having somebody of the other gender to talk about it with is also helpful.

[00:03:16] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:16] Yes. It's definitely... It definitely is. I agree with you. That's why we like men.

[00:03:20]Janet Carrig: [00:03:20] One of the many reasons.

[00:03:22] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:22] One of the many reasons. So, your role you're retiring from and very excited because I know you've got a lot ahead of you. Just not just with board work, but also from a personal standpoint, you were very intentional  about your department at ConocoPhillips, which is a huge company, Fortune 125. Were you... Tell me about how you build the team and whether you had a view to making a diverse?

[00:00:13] Janet Carrig: [00:00:13] So I built the team the way everyone builds a team, I think, is by relying on the people who supported me. I mean the people who I could count on, the people who delivered, and when I became the general counsel, that wasn't and I was the only woman on the leadership team.

[00:00:37] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:37] Okay.

[00:00:37] Janet Carrig: [00:00:37] Of the legal department, and when I left it was, well, we have a business manager who's on the team, but then it was four deputy general counsel, two women and two me. Certainly there were concerns that I favored women because I was a woman.

[00:00:59] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:59] Right.

[00:01:00] Janet Carrig: [00:01:00] I don't feel that I did. I feel like I just gave her a fair shake.

[00:01:04] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:04] Right. So do you think that that men feel that it's a zero sum game? Is that why they make comments like that?

[00:00:10] Janet Carrig: [00:00:10] Yes, and I think we helped them feel that way.

[00:00:13]Leslie Goldman: [00:00:13] How so?

[00:00:14]Janet Carrig: [00:00:14] I think that, I think any talk of quotas, which I think a lot of firms do to kind of shortcut the hard work of actual gender diversity, makes it a zero-sum game. And so that's why I've always been so opposed to quotas because in my own life, I have a son and I have a daughter. I want them both to be respected and valued.

[00:00:38]Leslie Goldman: [00:00:38] Right.

[00:00:38] Janet Carrig: [00:00:38] If you, if you create quotas, you have created a zero-sum game.

[00:00:42] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:42] Right? So...

[00:00:43]Janet Carrig: [00:00:43] I'm much more interested in what are we trying to get out of diversity? And how do we do that?

[00:00:50] Leslie Goldman: [00:00:50] Right. Well, there's no doubt that you earned every position that that you achieved that you had, but in your interview processes for any of your general counsel positions, what was the interview process like and were you the first female GC of all of them? Were at Kellogg, Sara Lee..

[00:01:10] Janet Carrig: [00:01:10] Yes, yes.

[00:01:10] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:10] Oh really? All three?

[00:01:13] Janet Carrig: [00:01:13] Yes.

[00:01:13] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:13] Oh my goodness! Were they...Did anybody say they were specifically looking for a woman during your interview process?

[00:01:21] Janet Carrig: [00:01:21] Not during the interview process. I do think Sara Lee was looking for a woman. I think being a woman helped me.

[00:01:27] Leslie Goldman: [00:01:27] Uh huh.

[00:01:28] Janet Carrig: [00:01:28] I don't think the others were. I think they were just looking for the person who met the specs.

[00:01:34]Leslie Goldman: [00:01:34] And and and in the in those interviews was team the interview team diverse? Where the board's diverse or?

[00:01:43] Janet Carrig: [00:01:43] Not at I mean, at Sara Lee, the board was...well both Sara Lee and Kellogg's had diverse boards. They probably had I'm going to say that probably had two women out of 10 something like that, maybe three at times, but the senior management was not. I was I was the only member of senior management who was female, I think, at either Sara Lee or Kellogg's.

[00:02:06] Leslie Goldman: [00:02:06] Do you think that, now I when we interview for, you know, large company general counsels and the women who interview tend to point out what they don't have on the spec and first they point it out to me, but I try and work with them on that, but the men never pointed out. Do you feel like as the interviewee when you went into the interview was it something were you self-conscious about anything or did you just had the ultimate confidence that you were the right person for the job? 

[00:02:44] Janet Carrig: [00:02:44] You're absolutely right about women pointing out what they don't know and I had seen that in action very early. There was this woman I wanted to hire, I wanted the company to hire as the CFO, and I knew she was fantastic, but she came in and she told the CEO, "Well, you know, if you're looking for this this and this, that's really not me. Here's what I'm good at." All he heard was "Wow, she's not good at that." Whereas anybody would be better at something than something else. And if you're smart, you hire for your weaknesses, right?

[00:03:22] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:22] Right.

[00:03:22] Janet Carrig: [00:03:22] So I saw that I thought I'd never do that.

[00:03:25] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:25] So did you see that early or was?

[00:03:27] Janet Carrig: [00:03:27] I saw that very early.

[00:03:28] Leslie Goldman: [00:03:28] Interesting. So you learned from actually having seen it yet rather than from being coached. Yeah, that is that is very interesting. So it did you feel like there's a difference in the intentionality of ...of gender parity in different types of businesses? Here in consumer facing businesses and then nat, then now an industrial.

[00:03:52]Janet Carrig: [00:03:52] I don't think industry matters. I really just think it's all, it's all tone at the top. It's all the same. It's all the individual CEO what he's comfortable with it what his goals are or her right like to prefer.

[00:04:06] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:06] Can you tell when...Can you tell when a CEO as being force to step out of a sandbox or comfort zone and?

[00:04:16] Janet Carrig: [00:04:16] You...Yes, and they don't do it very often or very well.

[00:04:21] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:21] Interesting, but the board, do boards have any influence or do they let the CEO sort of have free reign if they don't feel comfortable making a choice?

[00:04:32] Janet Carrig: [00:04:32] I've never been in an interview process for a general counsel where the board was involved.

[00:04:37] Leslie Goldman: [00:04:37] Right. No, okay. Yeah. I was just asking generally because you've been on boards, I mean, and I know that you are going to be on this more boards, but the boards that you've been on either...

[00:04:48] Janet Carrig: [00:04:48] I think that boards can be well intentioned. They can you know, push for diversity and inclusion goals, they can they can do their best. But they know they're not the managers and so when someone comes in and says, " I know we have this diversity and inclusion goals, but she just isn't working out for this reason," they're not going to say, "Go back and try again."

[00:05:14] Leslie Goldman: [00:05:14] All right, so generationally speaking. Do you see do you see more? Do you see as the younger generation more open-minded do you think?

[00:05:28] Janet Carrig: [00:05:28] Yes I do.

[00:05:30] Leslie Goldman: [00:05:30] Where does it start? The Millennials or?

[00:05:33]Janet Carrig: [00:05:33] Yeah, probably I mean, I certainly I certainly find my kids... Gender is just means become a much more fluid concept.

[00:05:43] Leslie Goldman: [00:05:43] And it's much more talked about; it's in our vernacular; it's in the news.

[00:05:48] Janet Carrig: [00:05:48] Now whether that survives as people climb the corporate ladder will be the interesting sociological experiment.

[00:05:54] Leslie Goldman: [00:05:54] Right? Because it goes like the pyramid goes.

[00:05:57] Janet Carrig: [00:05:57] The pyramid is very steep, and people who succeed at a corporation tend to adopt the culture of the corporation and in the culture of Corporations tends to be pretty cutthroat at the top.

[00:06:09] Leslie Goldman: [00:06:09] Yes, it does. So in terms of moving out of a lawyer role and being on a board, does gender matter when it comes to...you know, everybody knows you're a lawyer and, of course, your a woman, does gender play any part of it when when your people are listening to around the table, or do they listen to you more because you have this great background or? Do you get a sense?

[00:06:38] Janet Carrig: [00:06:38] I think boards are much more comfortable places for women than senior managers...

[00:06:45] Leslie Goldman: [00:06:45] Really?

[00:06:45] Janet Carrig: [00:06:45] ... Is because I think the work of the board plays much more to women's strength. It's a collaborative process and it's you know, it's about coaching and helping and you know, you're there. It's really close to being a mom. You're there to make it...you're there to make the company as good as it can be, and you don't do that by coddling it; you do it by demanding high things. Right? And so I mean, I've have felt like board work is much more naturally welcoming of women's skills and talents, and I also think there's a, you know, there's a natural tendency of CEOs to want people they know they can count on in a crisis.

[00:07:34] Leslie Goldman: [00:07:34] Uh-huh.

[00:07:35] Janet Carrig: [00:07:35] And there are so few women CEOs and male CEOs, I think, it's just if you're saying when the chips are down, who do I want with me?  It's a rare special relationship where our male CEO says I want her.

[00:07:52] Leslie Goldman: [00:07:52] Hm yeah...

[00:07:53] Janet Carrig: [00:07:53] I think it's a personal loyalty thing as well.

[00:07:56] Leslie Goldman: [00:07:56] Yes. Yeah, hopefully that would change sooner rather than later. And I know that you may not have battled activists as a GC. Have you, do you think there's a difference though in the way that activists/investors/whatever you want to call them treat general counsel who are women versus men? 

[00:08:22] Janet Carrig: [00:08:22] I think activists... In some ways, I felt like New York was the easiest job I ever had because everybody, Wall Street bows to the god of money and you could be a martian if you can help them get money; they don't care. I mean the statistics are that activists target female CEOs at a higher rate than male CEO.

[00:08:52] Leslie Goldman: [00:08:52] Right.

[00:08:53] Janet Carrig: [00:08:53] So there's got to be something there, but I, in my dealings with activists who back in the 80s were called raiders, was that they were pretty much just you know, if you can get it done...

[00:09:08] Leslie Goldman: [00:09:08] And the money, follow the money, right, right. Okay, so I guess lastly, when asked about what advice do you give to your daughter over and over your daughters, stepdaughters, daughter, that you would you want to stick with them?

[00:09:28] Janet Carrig: [00:09:28] The advice I give them incessantly is persevere. You got knocked down, get up.  You only fail when you don't get back up.

[00:09:39]Leslie Goldman: [00:09:39] Janet, thank you again for sharing your insights with us today. You are always engaging and I owe you for being the first guest on the show. And thank you to our listeners for tuning in today. We hope you'll join us again in a few weeks when we try to mix it up with our next Leading Lady Lawyer Sarah Hlavinka who recently had to go to the mat with Carl Icon while she served as GC of Xerox. Have a great day.

[00:10:08] Discover how Major, Lindsey & Africa can help you navigate the legal landscape at www.mlaglobal.com.

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