Despite major strides having been made in closing the gender gap in many industries, it still remains and in some sectors, quite substantially too. This was a key area of discussion at the annual American Economic Association which took place earlier this month.
Attended by thousands of economists, each year – hundreds of whom delivered their papers – this year’s event had a definite underlying theme; the gender disparity that continues to exist in global economics. Keynote speeches on where today’s economy is at were given by Jay Powell, current chair of the US Federal Reserve as well as past chairs, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen.
according to a paper presented last year by Alice Wu on Gender Stereotyping in Academy, when it comes to the principal economic jobs’ online forum, there is clear discrimination against female economists with 85 percent of full economic professors being men. in addition, the Nobel Prize for Economics has only been awarded to a woman one time and over the last two decades, only a third of women hold positions as economic majors nationwide.
Another example of existing chauvinistic attitudes was found in a study brought up in an interview with Bell Award winner Rohini Pande. she referred to a study which proved how men advance in economics and gain tenure for both authoring and co-authoring papers whereas their female counterparts only get it when authoring. the assumption made is that a female co-author has not undertaken the research; only the man.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Global Gender Gap Report, “it will take 108 years to close the gender gap worldwide according to today’s criteria. When the index was first conceived in 2006, assessing countries on their progress in four areas – economic opportunity, education, health and survival, and political empowerment – it was hoped there would be a vast improvement in both the opportunities and rewards offered to women.”
This timeline is clearly unacceptable and of the 149 countries surveyed, the average gender gap remains too large – at 32 percent.