My podcast guest, Carol J. Chumney, wrote a book about gender bias and the glass ceiling. Listen to her speak about women in leadership.

Carol Chumney has been an elected Shelby County, Tennessee Circuit Court Judge since September 1, 2022. Prior to this, she was an attorney in private practice in Memphis. She served thirteen years in the Tennessee state house, earning numerous awards. Carol served four years as a Memphis city councilwoman, standing up against pension and spending abuses by officials. She made valiant efforts to be elected county mayor in 2002 and Memphis mayor in 2007 and 2009. She’s also the author of The Arena: One Woman’s Story.

In this episode of the Woman of Value Podcast:

S5 EP 6: Carol Chumney – The Fight Against Gender Bias and the Glass Ceiling





It means being a woman of substance and character. In my book, “The Arena; One Woman’s Story”, I talk about the values my parents taught me – courage, justice, peace, truth and good character. It also means being a good example for others.


My parents never set limits on me, so when I got into the political arena, I was told I could do certain jobs but not others. I didn’t listen and ran for mayor even though we never had a woman mayor. Even though I didn’t win, I decided to write the book.

The first office I was elected to was the Tennessee state house at age 29. They wrote a story that I was passing a lot of bills, even though I was supposed to be seen and not heard.

After a while, I didn’t see a path to greater leadership position. Then two babies died while in day care, but nobody wanted to touch daycare. I proposed a major childcare reform and we passed it. I realized I could stand up for truth and justice even when it’s not easy.

My dream was to be a leader in higher office, maybe even president.



I’m a trial judge in Tennessee today. We have jury and bench trials. There’s still a lot of work to be done in our country for women in power/leaders. I wrote the book to expose the glass ceiling. If you can’t see it, you can’t beat it. If you don’t define yourself, other people will define you. I knew I had to define myself, and by writing the book, I did just that.

I wrote the book so women would be inspired to give themselves a chance and others would be inspired to give women a chance. I also wrote it to bring up integrity in politics, to speak truth to power.



I’ve achieved a lot and don’t have anything to prove in my life. I’m focusing on talking about and promoting the book, my work as a judge, and seeing if another door opens in the future. There’s still work for women to be done in Memphis.


I used to think I wasn’t good enough.

What was the #1 thing holding you back from becoming a woman of value? Being a woman held me back.

What’s the best advice you can give to a woman who wants to become more empowered? Read my book, and read “Influence” by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Read the books above and listen more. Compliment people more.

What’s something people get wrong about you? Some people assume I’m liberal when I’ve always been moderate and an independent. They try to fit me into their box.

How would you like to be remembered? I’d like to be remembered as writing a book of substance that would be helpful to other people.


Connect with Carol




Please Subscribe/Rate/Review the Woman of Value Podcast!

► Apple Podcasts

► Spotify

Get a copy of Sandy’s book, Becoming a Woman of Value; How to Thrive in Life and Love

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics