Publication Title

Seattle Journal for Social Justice

Document Type



In The Gender Implications of Corporate Governance Change, Janis Sarra presents what has until now seemed oxymoronic to many: a feminist economic analysis of corporate governance in the global marketplace. In so doing, she joins a growing chorus of corporate governance scholars who are seeking to advance an alternative vision to the neoclassical, shareholder-centered model that is not only dominant in the United States, but is also widely exported-even to nations that do not share similar institutional configurations that support such a model. This diverse group of scholars--whose approaches have been labeled variously as "progressive," "communitarian," and "socio-economic,"--do not view the above events of 2001-02 as aberrations in an otherwise solid American political and corporate landscape. Instead, these scholars see these events as the expected by-products of a post-Reagan political economy that has celebrated self-interest, undermined the rule of law, and drastically widened societal wealth inequalities by any reliable measure. For them, the case has yet to be made that shareholder wealth maximization equates with anything but-shareholder benefit, much less societal benefit.

What Sarra's work adds to this chorus is an explicit and extensive consideration of the many ways that gender is ignored or minimized in corporate governance decisions and debates. She summarizes: "Most theoretical approaches to corporate governance are modelled on strong historical notions of property and thus on a particular distribution of economic power that is highly gendered within the marketplace. They generally fail to articulate and value the experience and contributions of women to the economic and social life of corporations, and thus the distributive effects of various governance models."



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.