Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


A Key Idea for Business and Society, 1st Edition

By Celia V. Harquail


160 pages

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pub: 2019-06-25
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In this concise book, feminist thought is made accessible and relevant to both students and management practitioners. An empowering introduction to an often-overlooked key idea, this book illuminates how feminist thinking can liberate our understanding of work and management.

Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society boldly challenges assumptions about both feminism and business. It offers a primer on feminism for business and explains feminist interventions including adding women’s voices, pushing for equality, and practicing feminist values to make businesses more successful and more just. It analyzes the obstacles organizations and individuals face in their efforts to address gender inequality, and demonstrates how feminist interventions have changed the terms of business conversations around topics such as defining work, centering the economy around care, how jobs work and wages are gendered, violence in the workplace, horizontal and peer-to-peer organizational structures that don’t depend on dominance, enlightened leadership models, and power. As this book demonstrates, feminism has already had a profound impact on business, with many of its key tenets incorporated into business thinking.

As one of the first books to offer feminist insights and critiques of business to the practicing manager, business student, and non-academic, this book offers a fresh, positive vision that is remarkably relevant.


'Rigorous, articulate and passionately argued, Celia Harquail’s Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society is a must read primer on the values and goals of feminism and the gulf that still lies between them and the objectives of business-as-usual. This is not a work of mere idealism: Harquail challenges the status quo with an erudite summary of our present "profit for some" versus "flourishing for all" approach to professional work and its role in our lives. She offers cogent ideas for overthrowing, rather than tinkering with, the systemic oppressions of sexism, racism and other entrenched injustices in business and society, and how feminism envisions and encompasses both meaningful, fairly compensated work and a holistic human life for all.' — Whitney Johnson, disruption and innovation expert, speaker, podcaster, and best-selling author of "Build an A-Team" and "Disrupt Yourself".

'Finally, an engaging and opinionated book that is jam-packed with insights, explanations and examples of why feminism is needed in the workplace. A must read for corporate leaders and feminists, Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society, takes us a leap closer to understanding how businesses can better balance profit-seeking behavior with equality and justice for all.' — Dr. Barbara Orser, Professor of Management, University of Ottowa, Canada and co-author of "Feminine Capital: Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs".

'Presenting leaders with a compelling definition of feminism that is a call to action, this book highlights the relevance of feminism to business. In highlighting the oppression, privilege, and domination that characterize business culture, Celia V. Harquail challenges the reader to reflect, question, critique, and even disagree with her. The book offers an invitation that business leaders can no longer afford to ignore – it is time to change the rules of the game. Feminism is a catalyst for the ways that business can be a force for positive social and economic transformation.' -- Stacy Blake-Beard, Professor of Management, Simmons University, USA and Indian School of Business, India.

'As we look around all corners of the globe, feminism is in action. This accessible text introduces the reader to the most contemporary subjects and crucially asks critical organizational questions that benefit from the engagement with feminism.' — Alison Pullen, Macquarie University, Australia

'Business and feminism may seem an unlikely combination at first glance. This wonderfully innovative and readable book brings them together to great effect. Celia Harquail provides all of the tools needed to really make a feminist difference at work.' -- Scott Taylor, Birmingham University, UK

Table of Contents


1. A Primer on Feminism for Business

2. Obstacles and Approaches to Gender Equality in Business

3. Feminist Interventions in Core Business Concepts


About the Author

Celia V. Harquail, PhD, is co-founder of Feminists at Work and co-producer of Entrepreneurial Feminist Forums. She consults and writes about feminist business practice, and has taught at the Darden Graduate School of Business, UVA and Stevens Institute of Technology.

About the Series

Key Ideas in Business and Management

Understanding how business affects and is affected by the wider world is a challenge made more difficult by the disaggregation between various disciplines, from operations research to corporate governance. This series features concise books that break out from disciplinary silos to facilitate understanding by analysing key ideas that shape and influence business, organizations and management.

Each book focuses on a key idea, locating it in relation to other fields, facilitating deeper understanding of its applications and meanings, and providing critical discussion of the contribution of relevant authors and thinkers. The books provide students and scholars with thought-provoking insights that aid the study and research of business and management.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior