The Distinguished Visitors Lecture Series kicks off its 2021-2022 season with a talk from Dr. Carol Liao, an Associate Professor, UBC Sauder Distinguished Scholar, and Director of the Centre for Business Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Liao will speak on “Critical Race Feminism and Sustainable Corporate Law”.
The recording for this Lecture is visible on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/uFpMJGtdbGg
Corporate law aims to regulate the different power dynamics among directors, officers, shareholders, and other stakeholders of the corporation. But other notions of power have a pervasive impact on our corporate institutions. The rise of big business, pooling of capital, and concentration of power in the world generated from a very gendered and colonial history. In this talk, Dr. Liao reflects upon feminist and anti-racist discourses to identify the systemic disadvantages inherent in our corporate legal systems, and considers the ways in which corporate law entrenches gender and racial inequality, erects barriers to participation from historically marginalized groups, and fortifies masculine norms of governance.
Critical race feminism tests the self-interested shareholder concept and aligns with social finance movements and broader conceptions of impact and value, while critiquing the disproportionately negative effect corporate power has had on racialized and Indigenous peoples, particularly Black, Indigenous, and other women of colour. Awareness of power imbalances in the boardroom, in the day-to-day functioning of corporate activities, and even in our dialogues on corporate law itself within industry and academia, are critical in reform efforts. The next decade marks an important period as businesses adapt to worldwide pressures for sustainability under our climate emergency. In the pursuit of a net-zero carbon future, structural change is needed to dismantle patriarchal systems and intersectional critiques are necessary for environmental, social, and economic sustainability to be realized in the age of the Anthropocene.