America doesn’t need more female CEOs

If I had a nickel for every time I read a think piece by some feminist opining about the lack of female representation in corporate America, I would have enough money to start my own corporation. The lack of female CEOs has been one of the foremost concerns of American feminists for decades. In 2021, only 41 out of the 500 companies that comprise the Fortune 500 were run by women. Women comprise 50% of the American population but only 7% of CEOs are women. Advocates of gender equality have been pushing for the number of women in corporate board rooms to increase this advocacy has produced some promising results. In 2011, only 2.4% of CEOs were female, meaning that the number of women that are CEOs has almost tripled in the last decade. However, I do not believe that more female CEOs is a social goal that is worth the advocacy. In fact, I think that the emphasis that American feminism has placed upon female CEOs reveals something deeply insidious about the movement itself.


A CEO, or chief executive officer, is the highest-ranking manager in a corporation. What exactly is a corporation? Simple, it’s a totalitarian institution. Not just any totalitarian institution, but one of the most radically totalitarian institutions human beings have ever constructed. They are private tyrannies in which a small group of managers, executives and shareholders, acts as economic dictators, making all decisions over production and distribution. Because the ruling class controls not only capital, but the means of life itself, the majority of the population are forced to sell themselves to these private tyrannies through labor markets in order to survive. This is what our society calls having a job. Because corporations are structured like economic dictatorships, they can control almost everything their workers do while at work. While workers are paid a small portion of what the value of the labor, the majority of the benefits of the work they did is not paid back to them but is instead expropriated by corporate executives and shareholders in order to fill their own pockets with the money made by their workers. This is what is referred to as profit, which is essentially just a glorified form of theft. This is why every member of the Walton family has a net worth in the hundreds of millions, while the Walmart employees that are working hard five days a week are struggling to make ends meet. Capitalists often talk about the wonderful choices that capitalism gives to people, while the only real choice most people have under capitalism is to sell themselves to a totalitarian institution or to starve. All corporations are inherently tyrannical and immoral institutions that violate the most elementary human rights by their very existence and have absolutely no moral right to exist.


Replacing the male leader of an unjust and tyrannical institution with a female one is not beneficial if it’s not accompanied with any institutional change. The modern-day movement for gender equality has become increasingly dominated by a particular brand of white liberal feminism that often seems much more concerned with the individual achievements of certain women than the collective liberation of all women. In the instance of female CEOs, it is particularly ironic, as the system that these feminists want women to take charge of a system that was itself founded on the subjugation of women. In her book Caliban and the Witch, scholar Silvia Federici explores how the advent of capitalism in Europe was one of the greatest periods of rollbacks in women’s rights in human history. Under feudalism, the economic system that predated capitalism, women were far from equal to men, but common women held many more rights than they did initially after European countries became capitalist. This loss of rights for women was accomplished through years of campaigns of mass violence and terror levied by capitalists. The most famous of these were the European witch hunts, in which the same spirituality that had allowed women to gain power in their local communities was used as an excuse to burn them alive. These campaigns not only massively curtailed women’s rights, but also restructured gender norms and the family structure. Women were no longer the community members and spiritual leaders they were often under feudalism, instead they were domestic servants whose primary social role was to have children, supplying capitalists with the laborers they needed in order to keep their businesses running. We don’t need the structural violence inherent in our socio-economic order to be continued under a female CEO. What we need is to bring an end to the capitalistic, patriarchal systems that oppress people of all genders.