Survey Reveals That Many Women Economists Feel They Are Not Welcome in the Profession

The Committee on Equity, Diversity and Professional Conduct of the American Economic Association’s recent climate survey offers data on the view of women economists in the academic world on the level of discrimination they have received at their educational institution and in the field of economics generally.

Some 30 percent of women economists in academia believe they have been discriminated against, compared to 13 percent of male economists. Half of the women who said they had been discriminated against said they had faced discrimination due to their gender. Some 16 percent said they had been discriminated against due to their age and 22 percent due to their marital status.

Only 20 percent of women economists agreed with the statement, “I am satisfied with the overall climate within the field of economics.”  Only one quarter of women in the field said they “feel valued.” Just over one quarter of respondents said that they felt “included intellectually within the field of economics.”

When respondents were asked if they had ever witnessed sexual discrimination in the field, 44 percent of women said they had, compared to 33 percent of men.

Respondents were asked if they had been discriminated against as an economics student in access to research assistantships and quality advisors. Women were two to three times more likely than male students to report discrimination in these areas while a student. Women students were twice as likely as their male counterparts to report discrimination when looking for a job in economics.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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