Mrs May, who was forced to quit after failing to agree a workable Brexit deal, made the remarks in an interview to promote her new book, The Abuse of Power.
Asked if she considered herself ‘happily a woke woman’, she replied: ‘In the terms of that definition of somebody who recognises that discrimination takes place. Sadly, that term has come to be used…as part of this absolutism and polarisation of politics.’
Pushed further on Times Radio by host Ruth Davidson, she said: ‘I am, yeah! It’s a bit like being asked in the old days, was I a feminist? Well, I wore a T-shirt which said ”This is what a feminist looks like…”’
Asked about immigration, she added: ‘I’ve always said that immigration has been good for the country. I think the concern that people have is always around numbers and often, actually, the people who feel most about this issue are people who see least migration in their own communities.’
Mrs May came in for criticism during her six years as Home Secretary under David Cameron for overseeing a ‘hostile environment’ campaign against illegal immigrants.
It included sending vans around London boroughs telling people to ‘go home or face arrest’.
She was also prime minister when the Windrush Scandal broke, in which Britons were deported to the Commonwealth countries of their parents’ birth.
However, she has varied her position in recent years. She has hit out at Home Secretary Suella Braverman for calling the Channel boats crisis an ‘invasion on our south coast’, and opposed a new law designed to make it harder for arrivals to claim they are victims of human trafficking.
She also first hit the headlines in 2002 when she warned that the Tories needed to lose their ‘Nasty Party’ image.
Mrs May, the daughter of a priest who had a straight-laced reputation while in power, also told the radio station she had been blocked from attending a Tory ‘stripper and vicars’ party as a young activist.
‘I wasn’t a very rebellious child as the child of the vicarage… I can tell you the story that when I expressed an interest, at actually quite a young age, in joining the Young Conservatives locally, they came to say would I like to go to their first party and it was a vicars and tarts party and I wasn’t allowed to go,’ she said.
She also revealed her husband, Sir Philip May, went down to working a four-day week when she was in No10, so he could help out more around the house.