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St. Louis Fed’s New ‘Women in Economics’ Podcasts Urge Women, Minorities to Study Economics


ST. LOUIS ‑‑ Less than a third of the students who graduate with bachelor’s degrees in economics are women. The percentage of women further dwindles as education levels rise and as careers in economics advance.

The new podcast series “Women in Economics” from the St. Louis Fed’s Timely Topics audio channel asks economists: Why did they choose the field? What struggles have they overcome? Why do they encourage young women and minorities to study economics?

“We want to tell the stories of prominent female economists and open the door for more young women to join the field,” said Mary Suiter, an assistant vice president and economic education officer at the St. Louis Fed.

The series launched this week featuring interviews with:

  • Episode 1: Mary Daly, executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • Episode 2: Ellen Zentner, managing director and chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley
  • Episode 3: Claudia Sahm, section chief, consumer and community development research, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

In the first episode, Daly shares her story from high school dropout to research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Daly credits a counselor, a professor, and even former Fed chair Janet Yellen for aiding in her success.

“She is still a mentor of mine,” Daly said of Yellen. “She made my career kind of explode by just giving me opportunities as a labor economist to participate on things that were macroeconomic.”

Daly has a message for young women to consider studying economics and pursuing careers in the field: “We need you.  We absolutely need you,” Daly said in the podcast. “For economics to advance, for us to be relevant in the future, for us to take in all the problems that need to be solved and find solutions for them, we need everybody at the table, all the groups.  It’s a call to action for young women: Please join us.”

More “Women in Economics” episodes are in the works. Listen to all the stories at