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Women in Economics: Student Workshop

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Women in Economics: Student Workshop

The Department of Economics will host the first workshop for female students in Economics.

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This workshop aims to bring Economics undergraduate students’ perspectives to the debate on how to make Economics a more diverse discipline and attract more female students from different backgrounds. We believe that listening the challenges that current students face and their ideas on how to overcome these challenges will help us to build on a more inclusive environment.

This is event is financed by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and has received a Special Projects Grant by the Royal Economic Society.

Submissions for the workshop are now open. The deadline for submission is 20th of November 2019.

We will be regularly posting event updates on our Facebook.

Date: 18 -19 January 2020
Location: University of Warwick
(Day 1 - Scarman House / Day 2- Warwick Business School, Lecture Theatre 0.004)


It is well known that women are under-represented in the Departments of Economics in the UK universities and in the profession more generally. Needless to say, evidence suggests that gender participation exists as a result of discrimination rather than ability.

Female (and minority) economists tend to face higher levels of discrimination and feel less welcome in the profession. Key factors that are typically quoted as barriers for female students include: poor perception of the competence and ability of women, prevailing unconscious bias, sexual harassment, a lack of female role models, and syllabi that have little emphasis on issues in which women are more likely to take an interest. Economics is not just - or even mainly just - about finance or forecasting the macroeconomy, therefore it needs to work to broaden its focus in order to become more diverse.

This workshop calls for current Economics students’ ideas, proposals, and initiatives on how to create a more inclusive university environment for women studying Economics. We believe that, while there is a growing interest and more discussion at university level from academics working in the sector, the student body’s voice has been less prominent.

This is event is financed by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and has received a Special Projects Grant by the Royal Economic Society.

Academic organiser: Dr Stefania Paredes Fuentes

For any queries about the workshop, please email economics dot womenconf at warwick dot ac dot uk

This call is open to all Economic students to bring their ideas/proposals/projects and help us to contribute to make Economics more attractive to all. You need to be a current Economics student (or related e.g. joint degrees with Economics) from an UK university in order to be eligible to participate. If you want more guidance or want to discuss your idea before applying, please contact us: economics dot womenconf at warwick dot ac dot uk

Download the application form here

Application deadline: 20th November 2019

If you are selected, we will cover an advanced standard-class return rail fare to Coventry and accommodation during the Workshop. All participants will stay at Warwick Conference Centre (lunches and dinner are also provided - please see the programme).

PRIZE: From each session, we will choose the best presentation and the winner will get a prize of £300.

Your proposal needs to focus on one of the following topics: (there is also one ‘open session’, please see more details on the application form)

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Econ101 syllabus - and the Economics curriculum more generally - have been under scrutiny. It has been discussed that traditional Economics syllabus do not allow students to engage with real world challenges. Since then, there have been many initiatives and some universities have taken a positive action and changed the way they teach Economics and engage students with the subject. The changes also apply to assessment and feedback methods.

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • how changes to the curriculum have made/could make the discipline more attractive to women;
  • what teaching/curriculum innovations have been/can be introduced that make the discipline more inclusive;
  • how assessment and feedback can be more inclusive;
  • any other ideas on the Economics curriculum that can make feel the discipline more inclusive.

Students’ experience at university is not only influenced by their academic engagement. Student-led organisations play a key role. Students unions play an important role in creating a more inclusive environment;

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • we are particularly keen to hear from Economic societies, Finance societies and related, but also other types of student committees such as SSLCs (Economics Staff and Student Liaison Committee), Students unions and other forms of students’ representations;
  • any students’ initiatives aimed to improve Economics female-students’ university experience.

There is evidence that having role models is very important as they influence our actions and motivate us to strive to uncover potential and overcome weakness. While we cannot assume that female students will always desire female mentors, open discussion of the benefits of having more female (and broader representation in general) to share backgrounds and experiences can be beneficial to all students. Female economists’ experiences can help students to broaden their perception about the discipline and increase students’ engagement.

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • the role of female economists (but not only) in inspiring female students;
  • role models that have contributed to a greater engagement of female economics students;
  • any other ideas on how role models can benefit students’ engagement.

While there is the perception that economics students tend to go to work in Banking and Finance, a degree in Economics opens many doors. Female economists tend to be more interested in different areas (e.g. economic policy) and their expectations of what to get from an Economics degree may vary. Also, their expectations on what to do after university may affect how they engage with their academic life;

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • how do female students’ expectations differ from male students and how these can affect (positively and negatively) their academic engagement;
  • if female students are interested in pursuing further studies (MSc, PhD), what aspects of the BSc discourage them from doing this and what can be done to overcome these issues;
  • any other ideas on how female students’ expectations may interact with their performance and engagement with university life.

Dr Luisa Affuso (Ofcom Chief Economist)

Luisa Affuso is Chief Economist at Ofcom, the UK communications regulator. She joined Ofcom in October 2018 from PwC where she headed the Competition Economics practice. Luisa has over twenty years’ experience in the application of competition, regulatory, and industrial economics. She has consulted for a range of organisations including economic consultancies, the World Bank and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). She has given expert evidence on a number of high-profile cases before several antitrust authorities and courts. She has an MSc and PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick.

Professor Wendy Carlin

Wendy Carlin is Professor of Economics at the University College London (UCL) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). She is leading an international project - the CORE project - to reform the undergraduate economics curriculum. The CORE project has produced an open-access e-book for a first course in economics used in various universities worldwide.

Wendy is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility and has acted as a consultant for international organisations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London, and the World Bank.

Urvashi Parashar

Urvashi is Deputy Director, Sector Analysis in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy where she leads a multi-disciplinary team of analysts supporting business sectors policy that involves appraisal and evaluation of interventions, understanding the impact of EU exit and future trade deals on sectors, and the role of industrial strategy.

Urvashi is a passionate believer in improving diversity in the civil service and in Economics. She is joint lead of the engagement strand of an initiative in the Government Economic Service called “Women in Economics” which aims to reach out to female students to encourage them to study, work and progress in Economics. The initiative has recently started to work with Royal Economic Society’s Discover Economics campaign so that the two organisations can achieve their common goals.

Dr Tom Schuller

Tom is the author of ‘The Paula Principle: how and why women work below their level of competence”. Women outperform men in education at every level and in almost every subject and there will soon be two women for every man in higher education in the UK. In a properly meritocratic system, we would expect women to be rewarded for these achievements but progress towards pay equality has been slow and stuttering. It is this striking contrast – between a fast-growing female/male competence gap on the one hand and a slow-shrinking male/female careers gap on the other – that has prompted The Paula Principle. Tom is currently a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck (London) and the Institute of Education.”

Professor Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is Professor of Economics and Head of the Department at the University of Bristol. She is the Women’s Committee Chair for the Royal Economics Society which role is to promote women in the Economics profession. Sarah’s research is on pensions, saving and retirement and welfare policy and more recently she has been working with a number of charity organisations to understand what motivates individuals to give and how donations respond to different (economic and non-economic) incentives. She has previously worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, HM Treasury, Financial Services Authority and the London School of Economics.

Professor Manuel Bagues

Manuel is Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. His research interests are in Labour Economics, with a focus on Personnel Economics, Gender Economics, and Economics of Education. His work has been published in leading journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, among others. Some of his works include ‘A Comment on “Women and Power: Unpopular, Unwilling, or Held Back?"’, ‘Does the Gender Composition of Scientific Committees Matter?’ and he is working on ‘Can Gender Quotas in Candidate Lists Empower Women? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design’. Manuel has also written short articles addressed to a broader (non-academic) audience in various both English and Spanish. Manuel received his PhD from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Previously he was an Associate Professor at Aato University in Helsinki, Finland..


The preliminary programme for the workshop is:

Day 1 Saturday 18 January


10.30 - 11.00

Coffee and registration

11.00- 11.15

Welcome and Introduction

11.15 - 12.00

Interview to Professor Wendy Carlin (UCL, The Core Project) How a change in curriculum can help to diversify Economics?

12.00 - 13.00

Session A: Economics curriculum

13.00 - 13.45


13.45 - 14.45

Session B: Student-led networks

14.45 - 15.45

Session C: Reshaping the image of Economics

15.45 - 16.00


16.00 - 16.45

'Mummy what do you actually do’? A day in the life of a (female) economist in government - Urvashi Parashar (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)

16.45 - 17.45

Session D: Making Economics more inclusive


Reception and Social dinner

Day 2 (Sunday 19 January) - Warwick Business School, Lecture Theatre 0.004


10.30 - 11.00

Coffee and registration (new participants)

11.00 - 11.15

Welcome Day 2

11.15 - 12.45

Panel discussion

12.45 - 13.00

Concluding Remarks and prizes

13.00- 13.45

Buffet lunch

Travel to the Warwick campus (Coventry): University of Warwick is at the heart of the Midlands and can be accessed through various types of transport. For more information please follow the link here.

Accommodation: All selected students will stay at the Warwick conference centre in campus. All accommodation is en-suite single bedroom, located few minutes walk from the workshop venue. Free parking and Wi-Fi. More information for students will be provided before the conference.


Due to the popularity of this event, all participants will need to register. Please complete the registration form here.