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The Women in Economics podcast series from the St. Louis Fed highlights the studies and careers of women and underrepresented minorities making their marks in the field of economics.

The Women in Economics podcast series from the St. Louis Fed highlights the studies and careers of women and underrepresented minorities making their marks in the field of economics.
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The Women in Economics podcast series from the St. Louis Fed highlights the studies and careers of women and underrepresented minorities making their marks in the field of economics.




Women in Economics: Beatrice Weder di Mauro

“What distinguishes us as economists from some other sciences is that there is a real world out there which is changing day by day and it’s very important that the right concepts are actually applied in the real world,” says Beatrice Weder di Mauro, Centre for Economic Policy Research president.


Women in Economics: Anna Opoku-Agyeman and Fanta Traore

“We want to get to a point where it’s normal for underrepresented minority women to succeed at a higher level within these kind of careers,” says Anna Opoku-Agyeman. She and Fanta Traore discuss why they co-founded the Sadie Collective, which aims to cultivate a community of black women in economics, finance and other quantitatively demanding fields.


Women in Economics: Lucia Foster

“In order to understand the portraits that we’re providing to the American people, we need to understand the viewpoints of the American people. And that means a diverse view of the American people,” says Lucia Foster, chief economist at the U.S. Census Bureau and chief of the Center for Economic Studies.


Women in Economics: Martha Olney

“I think we're on the precipice of change partly because there's increasing awareness of this issue within economics,” says Martha Olney, University of California Berkeley professor. She talks about why she mentors and how former Berkeley undergrad Alice Wu’s thesis took the profession by storm.


Women in Economics: Carmen Reinhart

“I was born in a different country, and that colored my life experience,” says Carmen Reinhart, Harvard professor, about her decision to study international economics. She discusses the male-dominated field of finance and explains how she approaches economics with a detective’s frame of mind.


Women in Economics: Esther George

“You can't work for the central bank without understanding how the principles of economics come to bear on everything we do,” says Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. George discusses her background in banking, growing up in rural Missouri and how she expanded the role of women at the Jackson Hole Symposium.


Women in Economics: Jane Ihrig

“I’ve really enjoyed feeling like I’m making an impact at an historical time in the Federal Reserve System,” says Jane Ihrig, associate director of the monetary affairs division at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Ihrig discusses her education, her work in the economics field and her monetary policy work on the Council of Economic Advisers during the 2008 financial crisis.


Women in Economics: Kathleen Hays

“What I'm trying to do is add value … really try to get to understand what someone's thinking, why they're doing what they're doing, where they're heading next,” says Kathleen Hays, the global, economics and policy editor for Bloomberg Television and Radio, about her economics education and its role in her prestigious business reporting career. She also discusses business and journalism changes over her three decades in the reporting field—and whom she’d like to interview next.


Women in Economics: Barbara Flowers

“Economics is a good field of study for learning about how to manage your life,” says Barbara Flowers, economic education coordinator at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She talks about her experience as a nontraditional student and why she is passionate about creating economics curriculum for minority students.


Women in Economics: Amanda Bayer

Amanda Bayer is hopeful and optimistic about increasing diversity in the field of economics. “There’s a lot of attention being given to these issues from various points within the profession now, including at the highest levels and the leadership of the AEA, the American Economic Association, but also coming from the Federal Reserve System,” Bayer says in this Women in Economics podcast. “There is enough action coming from enough quarters that we have the potential to change the culture of...


Women in Economics: David Wilcox

“Economics is relevant and it's important, and it's much too important to be left to one segment of the population. And historically, the segment has been white privileged males,” says David Wilcox, then-director of the research and statistics division of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors. He talks about his research on the unequal distribution of economic education, the need to change economics classrooms and how it is the responsibility of every member of the economics...


Women in Economics: Lisa Cook

“People had a hard time taking me seriously, because I'm sure they didn't know any African-Americans who were economists,” says Lisa Cook, associate professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University. She talks about discovering economics while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, how she overcame biases she faced as a woman and as an African-American, and her research showing GDP could be higher if more women and African-Americans were involved at the beginning of the...


Women in Economics: Kate Warne

“I come from a family of economists. So, of course, I didn’t want to go into economics,” says Kate Warne, a principal and investment strategist at Edward Jones. She talks about why we need women in finance, policy and other fields related to economics. She also discusses the role of education in building confidence: “One of the things education does for you is provide a set of skills that you can be confident in.”


Women in Economics: Louise Sheiner

“I never even considered taking an economics class, because I thought it was business. I thought it was about making money,” says Louise Sheiner, the Robert S. Kerr senior fellow in economic studies and policy director for the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. She talks about how she stumbled into economics after studying biology, her work in health economics and why she thinks high school debate could spark girls’ interest in econ.


Women in Economics: Lael Brainard

“It's still a very important challenge to get more women and more minorities into the economics profession,” says Lael Brainard, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She talks about women in economics at the international level, her time as the U.S. representative to the G20, her focus on financial stability and more.


Women in Economics: Una Osili

“There were times when you were the only woman in the room, and you had to bring your self-confidence, your belief in yourself, and the desire for excellence in your pursuits,” says Una Osili, associate dean and professor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She talks about the intersection of economics and philanthropy, the state of women in economics internationally and the need for more people of color in the field.


Women in Economics: Gail Heyne Hafer

“I think students need to be doing economics, so it’s not me telling them stories or showing them graphs,” says Gail Heyne Hafer, an economics professor at St. Louis Community College-Meramec and author of two children’s books about economics. She shares her stories of how students and teaching have changed during her three decades of teaching economics.


Women in Economics: Diane Swonk

“I may be dyslexic and I can’t read very well. I flip numbers, but I can do calculus in my head,” says Diane Swonk, chief economist and managing director at accounting firm Grant Thornton, as she discusses how her learning disability became a strength. She also discusses how growing up during the economic “demise” of Detroit in the 1970s and 1980s helped show her how economics could have made a difference. “The economics I was learning explained it could have been avoided. And the reality...


Women in Economics: Fenaba Addo

“There are a growing number of communities within economics for young women who may feel isolated or questioning whether or not this is a path that they want to pursue,” says Fenaba Addo, assistant professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a visiting scholar at the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability. She talks about finding her voice as the only black woman in most of her economics courses on her way to her bachelor’s and graduate degrees....


Women in Economics: An Interview with Loretta Mester

“We are identified as women in the field, and yet, we really want to be known as good in the field regardless of whether we’re a woman or a man,” says Loretta Mester, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She talks with Maria Hasenstab, senior media relations specialist at the St. Louis Fed, about being a leader in the male-dominated field of economics. They also discuss Mester’s love of math, how she “lucked” into economics, the “publish or perish” mentality in the field,...