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Gender balance in Economics


New project aids drive for gender balance in Economics

The UK’s biggest ever gathering of female Economics professors will launch an initiative to help develop the careers of women in the discipline.

The new mentoring project sponsored by the Royal Economic Society (RES) Women’s Committee will get under way at the University of York on 16 July.

It will involve 13 female Economics professors from across the UK working with 20 junior academics who have achieved PhDs in the last five years. There will be panel sessions during the two-day inaugural event and the professors will work with the junior academics in small groups, helping them with advice on how to get their research published, how to secure research funding and work/life balance.

The event in the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York’s Heslington East campus expansion will be opened by York’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jane Grenville. It will also feature a discussion on Skype with Professor Rachel Croson, of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP), a sub-committee of the American Economic Association.

The chair of the RES Women’s Committee, Professor Karen Mumford, of the Department of Economics and Related Studies at York, said: "It’s all about encouraging more women into senior academic positions in Economics because such women are under-represented in this discipline. In 1992, there was just one female Economics professor in the UK and, although things have improved dramatically, they are still relatively rare. 

"In 1997, just five per cent of professors of Economics in UK universities were women; 10 per cent of senior lecturers and 15 per cent of lecturers. The figures now have risen to 10 per cent, 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, but we still need to do more to encourage women to develop their careers in the discipline.”