Feminist Business can make the world we want.
The world we dream of. The world we deserve.

If you want to be in business but recoil at the idea of
disruption and domination,
If you’re looking for a sense of meaning, justice, dignity and confidence about how you transact business, build relationships and design your livelihood:
You’re in the right place.

I’m CV Harquail.

I created the Feminist Business Model Canvas and
Wrote the book feminism: A Key Idea for Business & Society.

I’m a scholar of both business and feminism, an experienced teacher, facilitator and mentor, a lifelong feminist activist, and an entrepreneur.

I develop actionable business tools and confidence-building strategies informed by decades of dedication to the emerging field of Feminist Business.

My journey as a feminist, entrepreneur and academic.

FOR MORE THAN 3 DECADES, I’VE DEVOTED MYSELF TO THE QUESTIONS OF HOW.

Seriously…not to sound *old* but…

I’ve been formally writing about the fusion of feminism and business since at least 1988, the year I hit grad school and wrote my first research paper on “Feminist Businesses, Feminist Politics and Feminist Products.”

And I’ve been talking about this stuff since long before then. (See my 1973 junior high yearbook for a photo of me captioned: “Women’s libber. Most likely to be president.”)

Lucky (or not so lucky?) me, I’ve been a feminist since I was self-aware.

I became a feminist as I  watched my mom struggle to rise up the corporate ranks of an ad agency as a single mother in the 60s and 70s, while holding feminist gatherings in our living room.

At the same time, I watched my dad build the first of several businesses, which piqued my interest in the art of bringing people together to make things, bring them to market, and succeed financially.

Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the question of how people can organize together to achieve transformational goals. So I majored in political theory. I got involved in the peace movement, and Quaker social justice work. I even reorganized the leadership structure of my college radio station to be less-hierarchical and collectively led.

After college, I meant to get an MBA and start a feminist business of my own to change the world. But first, I invested in a little real-world business experience.

I went undercover in corporate jobs at IBM and Procter & Gamble, selling paper products, managing a production line in a soap factory, and ultimately into Organizational Development — the department that tries to make the hyper capitalist parts of a business a little less shitty. (Hey, it was a start.)

I discovered I didn’t know enough yet to end oppressive practices at the soap plant and make it a more feminist operation. So I bailed and went to graduate school. For business.

I thought surely business school would show me how to bring feminism and business together to make real change. Instead I found myself pushing people’s buttons by challenging the dominant paradigms in both Management and Women’s Studies.

As a teaching fellow in the Women’s Studies Department and a PhD student in the Business School at the same time,
I had no comfortable home.

The feminists thought I was a capitalist sellout and the business school folks thought I was an unrealistic radical.

But I never gave up on either community.

I’m still determined to figure out smart ways of making things and doing things together that put flourishing first.

In business, they’d call me an expert.

(after all, I have a PhD.)

But feminists would call me a wisdom weaver.

 

I bring together many streams of wisdom to design stronger strategies.

I draw out your own wisdom, your strengths and values, and help weave the web of ideas you need to build a pro-flourishing business.

Here’s what I know from decades of
direct observation, study and practice:

The status-quo stewards have it backwards.

You don’t have to fix yourself
to fit into broken systems.

The people who work with me have all felt uncomfortable trying to stuff themselves into our current business paradigm.They’ve struggled with being recognized in heterosexist, patriarchal systems — or witnessed others in their struggle. Tried to advocate for equality and justice over the rumble of a propaganda machine insisting the playing field is already level.

And been asked to approach supply chain, logistics, marketing and management in ways that made them uncomfortable and truthfully a bit sad.

…All while witnessing the exhaustion and unnecessary suffering that ensues.

So to repeat, you are not unreasonable.

You are not asking for too much.


And, you are willing to go first and do things differently.

Your expectations of business
are not unrealistic.

You’ve felt first-hand how the system is broken… so you see through the craptastic propaganda. Sure, they’ve added some “people of color” and white women to the mix and stirred. Still.

Conventional business practices are stuck in negative patterns. And this sloth-like pace of change almost feels like we’re going backwards.

Yep. You’re not wrong.
The world is crazy.

Wanting business to be different feels futile – and that’s on purpose.

They don’t want us to think we have any power to change anything.

Welp. Too bad, bros.

We do. And we’re going to use it.

I believe we need to transform business from the roots.

I believe feminism offers the sharpest tool AND most visionary framework for fixing business’s biggest problems, and transforming it into a paradigm of collective flourishing.

And I believe business is one of the greatest opportunities we have to grow, share and redistribute power and resources according to our feminist values.

When we prioritize feminist values in business,
we breathe life into a vision for collective flourishing.

To be clear: Feminism is not about women over men.
Nor is it about more women in power.

It’s about all people flourishing together. About ending all oppressions.

And so we’re on the same page, I’d love to tell you more about what I mean when I say feminism.

Yep. This stuff is powerful.

That’s why the stewards of the status quo pour so much energy into defending and promoting their version of problems and solutions.

But they can no longer convincingly explain why, if feminism is no longer needed or relevant in business, we still have a gender pay gap, so many failed diversity and impact initiatives, growing inequity, a threatened planet, and flourishing for only the very few.

Not to mention all the waste, dehumanization and conscience-suppression that’s taken for granted as “doing good business.”

We need a paradigm of commercial success that can sustain us without reliance on domination and exploitation.

I call it Feminist Business Strategy.

Let’s be audacious about what business could be.

  • What if we prioritize caring for people as whole human beings, making sure all suppliers, hires and partners are paid fairly and well?
  • What if we focus on creating products and services that make a real difference for the people we serve?
  • What if we give our bottom line different priorities from the conventional capitalist model? And hold ourselves accountable to the communities we aim to serve?
Feminists have been showing us what else is possible for business for at least a hundred years.

We need people like you carrying forward the experiment.

Because the potential is radical.
Transformational.
And entirely possible.

I want to see you practicing – right now– what you believe could be, gathering the resources you need, confidently articulating your decisions and values, and building power so you can share it.

I’m here to help you grow more confident in your vision, your values and your business goals. And co-learn practical actions that make a difference in our lives now.

The best ways to learn from me & with me:

Let’s work on your business

Join us for workshops on actionable strategies.

Try the Feminist Business Model Canvas

Use feminist inquiry to build pro-flourishing values
into your bottom line.

Understand the power & potential of feminist business

Read my book and be emboldened to create real change.

Oh… I also do keynotes!

I love to remind people of how much we have the power to change. Hire me to give talks on Feminist Business and how it can shape our future.

And, I’d love to consult on your
Feminist Business curriculum.

I consult with teachers and institutions to design
powerful learning experiences in the feminist future of business.

Be part of the conversation

Subscribe to Feminist Business Futures

Making Things & Doing Things. The Feminist Way.

The latest in game-changing theory, management research and success cases from the vanguard of feminist business and the deep well of feminisms past.

AKA….Hot fresh ideas you can use now to transform
the business status quo, and flourish.

And probably, the inevitable cat gifs and pictures of my horse, Falken. (Sorrynotsorry.)

Practice feminism. Change business.
Flourish together.

Let’s work towards an economy where all people
can participate with voice, agency and authority.

A system of providing for each other that respects all people
as equally valuable human beings.

We can start with building pro-flourishing values
into our own businesses.

  • I believe that all systems of oppression—especially White supremacy, settler colonialism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, nativism, and capitalism—reflect the same fundamental lie: that some humans are better than others, deserve more than others, and should profit by controlling and taking from others. We can use our understanding of gendered, racialized, and classed dynamics to transform work for a world where all people can flourish.
  • The feminism that I aim to practice is radically inclusive, collective, expansive, and multi-dimensional. This feminism guides us to confront all forms of oppression, recognizing that gendered oppression offers us insights that can help us challenge and change illegitimate systems of power everywhere.
  • Explicitly, radically inclusive feminism calls us to join with intersectional #BlackFeminist initiatives directed against White supremacy and to support indigenous feminisms addressing settler colonialism and promoting sovereignty.
  • My feminist practice and my work are focused on co-creating a world where the politics of domination are no longer normal or possible. (H/t to Kelly Diels for this clear language.)
  • Businesses can be sites of social change and social justice, if we choose to make them so. Because my focus is on feminist business practice, I challenge systems of oppression as they are made manifest in our work, our organizations, and in the economy.

Ready to learn more?

Delve into the Feminist Business Library.

Explore posts on:

Full-Bodied Feminist Thought

Distilled feminist inquiry and arguments for principled entrepreneurs.

Feminist Business Tools

Model success on your terms with my best design tools.

Pro-Flourishing Practices

What you can start doing day-to-day to make a difference.

Seeds of the Future Economy

A critical yet hopeful look at who’s doing business differently.

I advocate collective, inclusive, transformational Feminism

This perspective on feminisms draws from the wisdom of all streams of feminism that:
  • Envision the equal humanity and flourishing of all people and living things

  • Understand feminism as a group project (not for individual advancement)

  • Aim to transform the matrix of oppressions to create a new world, by putting feminist values into practice.

I define feminism as a movement for all people to:
  • End sexism and all* oppressions

  • Establish political, social and economic equality

  • Create a world in which all people and all living things flourish

*racism, settler colonialism heterosexism, classism, speciesism, capitalism, ageism, imperialism, ativism, ableism, fatism, and all oppressions

  • I believe that all systems of oppression—especially White supremacy, settler colonialism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, nativism, and capitalism—reflect the same fundamental lie: that some humans are better than others, deserve more than others, and should profit by controlling and taking from others. We can use our understanding of gendered, racialized, and classed dynamics to transform work for a world where all people can flourish.
  • The feminism that I aim to practice is radically inclusive, collective, expansive, and multi-dimensional. This feminism guides us to confront all forms of oppression, recognizing that gendered oppression offers us insights that can help us challenge and change illegitimate systems of power everywhere.
  • Explicitly, radically inclusive feminism calls us to join with intersectional #BlackFeminist initiatives directed against White supremacy and to support indigenous feminisms addressing settler colonialism and promoting sovereignty.
  • My feminist practice and my work are focused on co-creating a world where the politics of domination are no longer normal or possible. (H/t to Kelly Diels for this clear language.)
  • Businesses can be sites of social change and social justice, if we choose to make them so. Because my focus is on feminist business practice, I challenge systems of oppression as they are made manifest in our work, our organizations, and in the economy.