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The Economic Society of Australia (ESA) presents annual awards to recognise distinguished economists in Australia for their contribution to the development of economics. Prior to the establishment of WEN in 2017, women had been starkly under-represented among these award recipients.

  • The ESA Distinguished Fellow Award, commenced in 1987, had been presented to only two female economists, out of a total of 29 recipients.

  • The Distinguished Public Policy Award, commenced in 2014, had never been awarded to a female economist, out of a total of 3 recipients.

  • The Young Economist Award, commenced in 2007, had never been awarded to a female economist, out of a total of 5 recipients.

  • The Honorary Fellow Award, commenced in 2006, had never been awarded to a female economist, out of a total of 11 recipients.

Since WEN was established in 2017, the network has been actively ensuring that deserving female economists are included among the short-listed candidates. WEN also proposed that the eligibility criteria for the Young Economist Awards be modified to recognise the disproportionate impact that parental and caring responsibilities have on women's careers.

WEN is happy to report that, since WEN's creation, the proportion of female recipients of the ESA awards has risen markedly. We warmly congratulate all worthy recipients.

ESA Distinguished Fellow Award

The ESA Distinguished Fellow Award was first presented in 1987 to honour distinguished Australian economists for their contribution to the development of economics.

Up until the creation of WEN in 2017, only 2 out of a total 29 recipients were women, equivalent to 7 per cent. These were Professor Helen Hughes AO (awarded in 2004) and Professor Maureen Brunt AO (awarded in 2006).

Since WEN’s establishment in 2017, 3 of the 6 awardees have been women. These were Professor Alison Booth (awarded in 2017), Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark (awarded in 2018) and Professor Beth Webster (awarded in 2022). As of 2022, women comprise 5 out of the 35 recipients of this award, effectively doubling women’s share of recipients to 14 per cent.

           

Professor Helen Hughes AO

Distinguished Fellow Award, 2004

    

Professor Maureen Brunt AO

Distinguished Fellow Award, 2006

Professor Alison Booth

Distinguished Fellow Award, 2017

Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark

Distinguished Fellow Award, 2018

ESA Distinguished Public Policy Fellow Award

The ESA Distinguished Public Policy Fellow Award was first presented in 2014 to recognise contributions by economists to public debate on policy issues.

Before the establishment of WEN, no women had been among the recipients of this award. Since WEN’s creation in 2017, two out of the six recipients to date have been women. These were Professor Sue Richardson (awarded in 2019) and Karen Chester (awarded in 2022). This has lifted women’s share of recipients from zero to 22 per cent.

Professor Sue Richardson 

Distinguished Public Policy Fellow Award, 2019

Karen Chester

Distinguished Public Policy Fellow Award, 2022

ESA Young Economist Award

The ESA Young Economist Award was first presented in 2007 to recognise Australian economists under the age of forty who are deemed to have made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

Before WEN’s creation, there had been no female recipients of the Young Economist Award. Since WEN was formed in 2017, and the criteria was amended, four out of five recipients have been women. These were Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ (awarded in 2018), Professor Gigi Foster (awarded in 2019), Professor Stefanie Schurer (awarded in 2021) and Professor Shuping Shi (awarded in 2022). This has increased women’s share of recipients of this award from zero to 40 per cent in total to date.

Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ 

Young Economist Award, 2018

Professor Gigi Foster

Young Economist Award, 2019

Professor Stefanie Schurer

Young Economist Award, 2021

Professor Shuping Shi

Young Economist Award, 2022


ESA Honorary Fellow Award

The ESA Honorary Fellow Award was first presented in 2006 to acknowledge ESA members who make a significant and substantial contribution to the ESA. Prior to WEN’s establishment in 2017, no women had been awarded this honour.

From 2017 onwards, one woman has been among the six recipients, Danielle Wood (awarded in 2018). This has lifted women’s share of total recipients from zero to 6 per cent to date.

Danielle Wood

Honorary Fellow, 2018

More information about the ESA Awards, including the citations for the recipients, can be found on the ESA Awards webpage.

If you would like to nominate a distinguished economist who is eligible for these awards, please get in touch with your WEN Branch.

Professor Alison Booth receives the ESA Distinguished Fellow Award from ESA President Dr Matthew Butlin
Australian Conference of Economists, Sydney, 2017

Danielle Wood receives the ESA Honorary Fellow Award from ESA President Dr Matthew Butlin
Australian Conference of Economists, Sydney, 2017

Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ (Left) receives the ESA Young Economist of the Year Award
and Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark (Right) receives the ESA Distinguished Fellow Award
from ESA President Dr Matthew Butlin (Centre)
Australian Conference of Economists, Canberra, 2018

Professor Gigi Foster receives the Young Economist of the Year Award 
Australian Conference of Economists, Melbourne, 2019

Professor Stefanie Schurer accepts the Young Economist of the Year Award for 2021 via Virtual Ceremony
(The Awards Ceremony was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic)


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