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Dr. Daria Sevastianova, associate professor of economics, took a group of 11 women majoring and minoring in economics to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for the second Women in Economics Symposium, held February 28. In his welcome address, the Bank’s President and CEO, James Bullard, noted that “the first Women in Economics Symposium held in 2018 attracted 147 participants from 14 states and 40 colleges”. Based on its success, the Bank decided to not only hold a second round in 2019, but eventually make this a national program. Dr. Sevastianova also hosted a group that traveled to last year's symposium.

Students at St Louis Fed

The goal of the symposium is two-fold: to showcase career opportunities for women with an economics degree, and to help women to get to know their future colleagues in the field. Amanda Bayer from Swarthmore College pointed out that the “economic profession’s innate problem with diversity is its unique opportunity.”

“While 60% of all college graduates in the U.S. are women, only 30% choose to major in economics,” according to Loretta Mester, the Cleveland Federal Reserve President and CEO. Mester believes that “documenting and publicizing the problem makes a difference by promoting a more diverse culture and opportunities for inclusion.” The panel speakers at the event agreed that it is important to bring more women into economics because women provide more diverse views to inform policy today.

Students at conference

Students in front of a giant penny

During the Symposium, USI students attended breakout sessions on career opportunities in economics and those with the Federal Reserve, listened to panel discussions, and attended a networking reception. They also toured the Inside the Economy Museum. According to USI students, the event was empowering, and provided valuable information about possible future career paths in economics.

Students by Federal Reserve cube

Students in front of bus

Next year, the Symposium will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Published March 4, 2019