The lack of diversity in the field of economics – in addition to the lack of progress relative to other STEM fields – is drawing increasing attention in the profession, but nearly all the focus has been on economists at academic institutions, and little attention has been devoted to the diversity of the economists employed by the federal government, including the Federal Reserve System.
On Monday, September 23, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy hosted a conversation on why diversity among economists matters and how to recruit and retain more women and underrepresented minorities.
The event opened with remarks from Janet Yellen, former Chair of the Federal Reserve and current distinguished scholar in residence at Brookings, followed by the debut of a new Hutchins Center report on the current state of diversity among Ph.D. economists employed by the federal government and the Federal Reserve. That was followed by a conversation among those leading efforts to promote diversity in the profession. The discussion explored what we know about diversity within economics, as compared to other STEM fields; highlight strides the Federal Reserve has made in this area and share lessons learned; and make note of what has been and what still may be done to diversity the pathways of underrepresented groups in economics. Panelists included Amanda Bayer of Swarthmore, Judith Chevalier of Yale, Kaye Husbands Fealing of Georgia Tech, Ellen Meade of the Federal Reserve Board, Zina Sutch of the Office of Personnel Management and Susan Collins of the University of Michigan.