Daria Sevastianova, associate professor of economics at the University of Southern Indiana, has always had a strong support system of family, friends and mentors throughout her trek in the field of economics.
“Maybe I’m lucky because my mother is an academic and a very strong woman,” she said. “And she just kind of taught me how to solve problems and love challenges.”
In a Women in Economics Podcast Series episode, Sevastianova discussed her upbringing in Eastern Europe and her decision to study economics. She also touched on the importance of encouraging women and minorities to enter the field in order to have a complete discipline and a well-functioning society. (The episode includes a transcript of the interview.)
“Women are half of every society,” she said. “So, if we’re not hearing their voices, then we’re really missing out on all of the contributions and all of the perspectives that we ought to have when we approach any problem, when we decide on policies as societies. So, to that extent, men and women and minorities, they all matter.”
Inspired by the Women in Economics Symposium at the St. Louis Fed, she helped start the Women in Economics Club for students at the University of Southern Indiana, where she has been teaching for 12 years. A main objective of the club is to create a network of women studying the subject, Sevastianova said, but its ultimate goal is much larger.
“And I think ultimately not only for us to support one another as women, but also for the men to support us, and for us to support them,” Sevastianova said. “And just to have an inclusive, strong discipline is what ultimately the goal should be here.”