"You first have to see it to defeat it"

The Arena: One Woman’s Story shares Carol Chumney’s experiences as a woman in the Memphis and Tennessee political arena and sheds light on the glass ceiling.

The glass ceiling is the invisible barrier that keeps women from attaining higher positions despite their qualifications or achievements.

Chumney’s book is an inside look at local and state politics that exposes this barrier and calls for a movement to shatter it once and for all.


In 1920, American women secured the right to vote. Tennessee was the 36th state necessary to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Amendment passed by only one vote in the state house.

There has never been a female president of the USA.

Despite a hundred years of women’s suffrage, there has never been a woman governor of Tennessee.

The portraits of 46 men who served as mayor hang on the wall at the Memphis city hall.

To date, a female has never been elected mayor of Memphis.

Women are still not proportionally represented in the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, statewide executive and mayor positions in the United States.


Excerpt from 1995 Tennessee general assembly’s women suffrage celebration


About Carol Chumney

Carol J. Chumney is an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee.
She served thirteen years in the Tennessee state house earning numerous awards.

Chumney served four years as Memphis city councilwoman, standing up against pension and spending abuses by officials.

She made valiant efforts to break the glass ceiling with campaigns for county and Memphis mayor.

As a veteran state legislator, city councilwoman, and experienced trial attorney, she came within seven points of being elected the first woman mayor of Memphis in 2007.

She is now a leading attorney taking the fight for election security to the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress.