According to the American Economic Association, only 14 percent of full economics professors in PhD-granting departments and 24 percent in non-PhD departments are women. Furthermore, just one in three undergraduate economics majors are women. This has raised questions as to potential barriers faced by women in the economics profession, relative to other fields.

Are women simply behaving rationally and choosing different disciplines or choosing to work in different but related fields? Is there something about economics that dissuades women from pursuing economics degrees? Three leading women economists discuss their academic journeys.

The Becker Friedman Institute welcomed Claudia Goldin, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, for a discussion on women in economics. Goldin is an economic historian and a labor economist who is best known for her historical work on women in the U.S. economy. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1972.

Goldin was joined by the University of Chicago’s Veronica Guerrieri, the Ronald E. Tarrson Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business, and Alessandra Voena, Associate Professor in Economics and the College.

The roundtable discussion focused on challenges facing women in economics, progress made in recent years, and opportunities for the continued growth of female economists in academia.