On a recent rainy, windy and unseasonably cool afternoon in Michigan, with her “fabulous but somewhat grumpy cat” lurking in the background and wanting to go outside, Raphael Richmond sat in her kitchen for a video call and reflected on her path to becoming the next legal chief at La-Z-Boy Inc.

Richmond confided that, earlier in her career, she had been reluctant to even entertain the idea of one day being a general counsel, all of whom seemed to be men at the time. Of course, her mindset changed over the years and now more women and minorities are running corporate legal departments for top companies than ever before, though the balance remains skewed toward white men.