Corporate Management Should All Be Feminists

26 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2022 Last revised: 5 Oct 2022

Date Written: June 2, 2022


The title of this essay may alienate some readers, including the very people who may benefit from it most—corporate directors and officers. Specifically, the title directs the reader to a potentially uncomfortable normative conclusion, using what may be an off-putting “f” word. However, the essay is less about feminism (although it is about feminism) than it is about effective, efficient corporate management in the United States.

The essay offers an operational definition of feminism (as anti-sexism) derived from the merger of two foundational literary texts. It is hoped that the resulting reflections and observations will refocus at least some broader academic and practical discussions of gender— and other elements of difference, for that matter—in the corporate board context on structures, systems, and processes rather than on counting female directors (or other directors of difference) or on analyzing and specifying the particular roles they may serve in corporate governance. In doing so, the essay seeks to change not only the beliefs of corporate management, but also those of external corporate constituents and the public at large. In sum, this essay urges that directors and officers be feminists to change what they do and change what they see—in order to effectuate change in what we all see.

Keywords: gender, diversity, corporations, management, directors, officers, feminist, feminism, sexist, sexism

JEL Classification: J16, J20, K22, L22, M12, M14, M50

Suggested Citation

Heminway, Joan MacLeod, Corporate Management Should All Be Feminists (June 2, 2022). 40 Law & Ineq. 409 (2022), University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 435, Available at SSRN:

Joan MacLeod Heminway (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-3813 (Phone)
865-974-0681 (Fax)

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