Queering Executive Presence

  • Rebecca Jean Evan (Metropolitan State University)


On an annual basis, Fortune releases the top 500 revenue-generating companies in the United States, referred to as the Fortune 500 collectively. The leadership team of these organizations is under scrutiny for their lack of diversity at the upper levels of management. In fact, in the history of releasing this report, there has only been one out lesbian in the CEO position (appointed in 2018). This phenomenological study of lesbians who are the senior executive levels of Fortune 500 companies seeks to understand their lived experiences within corporations to better understand what barriers, if any, exist for lesbians at the highest levels of corporations. What resulted was a discussion and insight into how these high-level leaders are redefining executive presence to incorporate more of who they are authentically versus the mold of a leader that they have been coached to or observed during their ascent to the top of corporate leadership ranks. The goal is to challenge the academy and corporations to utilize theories, such as queer theory, that push outside of traditional research to understand and fix issues related to gender more thoroughly.

Keywords: executive presence, Fortune 500, lesbian, executives, leadership

How to Cite:

Evan, R. J., (2019) “Queering Executive Presence”, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis 8(2), 75-91. doi:



Published on
16 Nov 2019