Hastings Women’s Law Journal


This paper focuses on the challenges and opportunities of female leadership in a time of sudden shock. The authors look at three examples across three different political, economic, and cultural jurisdictions. The first example is diversity and inclusion in the board of directors of corporations in the United States. Namely, the author looks at the recently created Securities and Exchange Commission rule calling for increased diversity and inclusion in corporations’ boards of directors. The author describes the type of changes in the board that are likely to occur and how those measures should be implemented, especially during acute situations like the COVID-19 health crisis. The second example regards women’s resilience in the face of needless bureaucracy. In this context, the paper tells the story of an Italian ninety-six-year-old woman – Nonna Peppina – who fought to remain in her village after the destruction of her old house. She was condemned and ordered to leave the village, and she sought legal support to stay in the village. She made her case against the Italian Government, which led the Parliament to adopt new legislation for post-disaster situations to support Peppina and those after her. The third example describes how a Japanese woman, a community leader, successfully organized a shelter during the Japan Great Earthquake in 2011 without government support and a shallow female leadership index. The paper concludes by explaining that female leadership is an opportunity that does not come without challenges. The stories the authors tell illustrate that unique circumstances shape the resilience of female leadership, which is strengthened by the character and charisma of our female leaders and a supportive institutional setting.