Australia’s economics profession and our broader policy debates are set to benefit from the nationwide launch of the Women in Economics Network (WEN) which will address the profession’s gender imbalance by promoting women’s involvement in economics.
The WEN officially launches at Parliament House on 20 March with an address by Reserve Bank of Australia Assistant Governor Luci Ellis, which will be followed by events across the country.
WEN National Chair Danielle Wood said the network would focus on supporting and promoting the careers of female economists, who currently only comprise around a third of the profession in Australia, as well as lifting the numbers of women studying economics in high school and universities.
“Female economists are far less prominent in public debates, and they’re not getting to the top roles in economics at the same rate as men,” she said.
“Employers are also losing out on the skills, knowledge and insights that greater diversity can bring, which means Australia is losing out when it comes to public policy development.”
The not-for-profit membership-based organisation is part of the Economic Society of Australia (ESA).
ESA National President Dr Matthew Butlin welcomed the Women in Economics Network as an important initiative that already had the support of a large number of employers across the private and public sectors as well as academia.
“Recently we have seen people like RBA Governor Phil Lowe highlight the benefits from improved gender balance in the profession in terms of bringing a broader range of perspectives to major economic decisions”, he said.
The Economic Society has also recently added six highly esteemed women to the Economics Society-Monash Forum National Economic Panel.
The WEN plans to address the gender challenge through activities including:
The WEN Committee would like to thank our event sponsors: ANZ, Deloitte Access Economics, HoustonKemp, Reserve Bank of Australia, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia.
FURTHER COMMENT: Danielle Wood, National WEN Chair, 0405 510 763
The Women in Economics Network is run by the Central Council and State branches of the Economic Society of Australia. It is supported at the national level by the Women in Economics Committee. WEN state committees or representatives also support the state branches in running WEN events.
More information can be found at esawen.org.au.
Female economists are not making it to the most senior roles at the same rate as their male colleagues:
Female economists are far less prominent in public debates on economic issues:
Economics has a pipeline problem: