The Last Male Bastion

Numerous legal scholars and commentators have written about the paucity of women in the boardroom at influence-wielding U.S. public companies. Fewer have written about the scarcity of female Chief Executive Officers, and fewer yet have written about the relatively low numbers of female executive officers, at U.S. public companies.

This brief essay (an edited version of my remarks offered at the University of Dayton School of Law’s symposium on „Perspectives on Gender and Business Ethics: Women in Corporate Governance“) does not endeavor to add to the collective understanding of observed gender disparities in boardrooms and the C-suite — the senior executive team in the firm. Rather, it urges a different approach to thinking about the issue of gender disparities at the executive-level ranks of U.S. corporations. Specifically, the essay reflects on the ways that different corporate governance theories may inform the way that we frame women’s roles in the corporate executive leadership structure.

In short, it suggests that by looking at women as team members rather than as part of a binary relationship within the firm, we may normalize the presence of female executives in U.S. public companies.

Source: Heminway, Joan MacLeod, The Last Male Bastion: In Search of a Trojan Horse (July 29, 2012). University of Daytona Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN:


Joan MacLeod Heminway (Contact Author)

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