Financial History 144 Winter 2023 | Page 12

GENDER and the



Eleanor Lansing Dulles , 1958 . In the 1920s , while revising her Ph . D . dissertation , male economists suggested they could do more with her research than she could and that she should turn over her notes . She refused to do so .
National Archives
By Ann Mari May
The American Economic Association ( AEA ), and indeed the public at large , is slowly awakening to a problem in the discipline of economics . According to The New York Times , “ The economics profession is facing a mounting crisis of sexual harassment , discrimination and bullying that women in the field say has pushed many of them to the sidelines — or out of the field entirely .”
As writers for The Economist put it , “ Something is broken within the market for economists , and the profession has moved only belatedly and partially to address it . A lack of inclusivity is not simply a problem in itself , but a contributor to other troubles within the field .”
Although women have made significant progress in certain STEM ( science , technology , engineering and mathematics ) fields , evidence suggests that there has been little progress in bringing women into economics since 2000 . As of 2018 , among the social sciences women earn over 60 % of doctoral degrees in psychology , anthropology and sociology . In economics , only 32 % of doctorates are awarded to women .
Not only are there few women receiving doctorates in economics , studies show underrepresentation of women at all levels of the academic hierarchy . In economics departments with doctoral programs , 28.4 % of assistant professors were women , 25.8 % of associate professors were women and a startlingly low 14.3 % of full professors were women as of 2018 .
As disappointing as the numbers are for women generally in the discipline of economics , the representation of women of color is simply inadequate and unacceptable . Amanda Bayer and Cecilia Rouse indicate that only 11 minority women ( African American , Hispanic and Native American ) earned doctorates in economics in 2014 . While about 30 % of the US population is identified as Black or Hispanic , only 6.3 % of tenured and tenure-track faculty in economics are identified as such .
Economists have only recently become aware of the lack of women in economics . Yet the position of privilege of most white men in economics is reflected in countless examples in the early years of the 20th century . While some were at least somewhat sensitive to the challenges that this might present , many others were not .
In the first issue of the American Economic Review ( AER ) published in 1911 , Davis R . Dewey , then editor , acknowledged that he was in part prompted to allow a woman author the space for a published reply to a negative review because he was aware that there was a suspicion
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