Workshop "Women in Macro, Finance, and Economic History" (WIMFEH)
By Pia Hüttl & Josefin Meyer

Picture of Pia Hüttl and Josefin Meyer

Since 2019, an increasing number of studies show that female economists confront gender-related structural disadvantages regarding job appointments, publication decisions, and obtaining research funding in economics.[1] In a survey by the American Economic Association (AEA) on the professional climate in economics, almost half of around 9,000 international female economists stated that they had suffered harassment and discrimination during their careers because of their gender.[2] Another study shows that women in the field of finance hold positions at lower-ranked institutions, are less likely to be full professors, and publish fewer papers. At the same time, women have more female coauthors, suggesting smaller publication networks.[3] The seminar culture in economics also discriminates against female scientists.[4] That is the conclusion of a study collecting and analyzing data on the interaction between speakers and their audiences in hundreds of research seminars in leading economics departments, during job market talks, and summer conferences. It shows that female presenters are treated differently than their male counterparts. Not only are women asked more questions during seminars, but those questions tend to more be condescending or hostile.

With this picture in mind, the "Women in Macro, Finance, and Economic History Workshop" (WIMFEH) workshop promotes subject-specific networks, crucial for achieving equal opportunities for women in economics and advancing the field in this perspective. The third edition of WIMFEH, held May 3-4, 2023, brought together 30 female economists from macroeconomics, finance, and economic history. The workshop provided a platform for these professionals to present their research, establish research connections, and exchange ideas. During the two-day workshop, nine research papers were presented in 30-minute slots, followed by 10-minute discussions and Q&A sessions with the audience. The workshop's agenda also included ample time for networking and exchanging research ideas, with extended breaks between sessions, a conference dinner, and a guided walking tour of Berlin's city center. In addition to the research presentations, three distinguished speakers – Elena Carletti (Professor of Finance and Dean of Bocconi University), Claudia Steinwender (Professor of Economic History at the University of Munich), and Silvia Miranda-Agrippino (Bank of England) -- delivered keynote speeches. These keynotes not only showcased their excellent research but also provided candid, diverse, and inspiring insights into their career paths and beyond.

With the WIMFEH workshop, we aimed to enhance professional exchange among female economists and increase women's visibility in economics in both public and academic spheres. The success of this endeavor is evident not only from the substantial number of research paper submissions (over 90) but also from the consistently positive feedback received from participants during the workshop. Xiang Li, one of the presenters, finds that WIMFEH is a “wonderful workshop! Besides super interesting paper presentations, it was inspiring to know the interesting career path of the three keynotes and the difficulties they met as a woman in this profession. Kudos to the organizers!” Participants highlighted the collaborative atmosphere, high-quality discussions, and inspiring keynotes as the key elements contributing to the overall success of this year's workshop. This overwhelmingly positive experience highlights how important the promotion of subject-specific networks is. Building on this, plans are already underway for WIMFEH 2024.



[1] See among others Baetman V., Kanakanam Gamage D., Hengel E., Liu X. ‘The Gender Imbalance in UK Economics: Royal Economic Society’, Silver Anniversary Women’s Committee Report. Accessible under


[3] Sherman, M.G. and Tookes, H.E. (2022), Female Representation in the Academic Finance Profession. The Journal of Finance, 77: 317-365. Accessible under

[4] Dupas, P., Modestino, S. A., Niederle, M., Wolfers, J. and The Seminar Dynamics Collective (2021) ‘Gender and the Dynamics of Economics Seminars’ National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Nr 28494. Accessible under

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