Kanin was a woman of many achievements--writing for television and film, winning Emmys and being nominated for Oscars. She also served as really the only female President of the Academy (Bette Davis was the first, but her stint lasted for 2 weeks in 1941 before she resigned) for four terms.
Kanin was never afraid to speak her mind, even when it came to issues about women in the industry. On the 1980s Academy Awards, Kanin's first appearance as Academy President, the announcer introduced her as a man. She didn't care.
Kanin's attitude towards being the Academy President was extremely confident as was conveyed during the tribute.
Let other people be surprised a woman was President of the Academy. It was natural to me.
We owe a lot to strong and outspoken women like Kanin for breaking boundaries within the industry.
WGA and Academy Tribute to Fay Kanin (Deadline)