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Increasing Diversity in Economics - Discover Economics Campaign

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Increasing Diversity in Economics - Discover Economics Campaign


Supporting #DiscoverEconomics campaign to increase diversity in economics

We are pleased to announce that we are joining forces with the Royal Economic Society (RES) to support the launch of their new campaign #DiscoverEconomics to increase diversity in economics.

The #DiscoverEconomics initiative aims to promote economics to a wider audience and particularly to those groups who are currently under-represented on Economics undegraduate courses and in the profession: women, minority students and students from state schools. The Royal Economic Society reports that one in six boys and one in 17 girls study Economics at A level; one in five students at private schools takes A level economics compared with one in 12 in the state sector. We hope that the new campaign will change the situation and have a positive effect on altering the perception of the subject and the profession to attract more students from under-represented groups.

Dr Arun Advani, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Warwick and Co-chair of the RES led initiative #DiscoverEconomics will be attending the campaign launch event which takes place on Tuesday 15 October, 10am to 12pm at the Resolution Foundation in London. The event will be attended by representatives from a variety of organisations including the Bank of England, the Government Economic Service, the Society of Professional Economists, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Centre for Economic Policy Research.

Dr Arun Advani has summarised the importance of the campaign:

Women, state school and ethnic minority students are under-represented among economics undergraduates. By not studying economics, these students miss out on a degree that leads to high-paid future careers. But more fundamentally, the lack of diversity among economics students is a problem because economists - who occupy key policy roles in society - need to reflect the world that they are helping to shape."

The Department of Economics at Warwick is fully behind this new campaign and we are planning to run two important events promoting diversity in economics this academic year:

  • Discover Economics day – an outreach event for Year 10/11 pupils from 6 state schools from Coventry and Warwickshire scheduled for March 2020.

Dr Lory Barile, Widening Participation Co-ordinator in the Department of Economics has said about our aims for this event:

We are finding that many school pupils consider economics as a subject that deals only with money, banking and finance; but economics has a wide variety of other applications and it links with many other fields like psychology, health and environment, for example. We hope to increase the awareness of many of these opportunities and by doing that, to enlarge the pool of applicants into economics, including women. At the event we are planning to give pupils a chance to get involved in interactive discussions and activities, have an opportunity to meet and talk to real economists and learn what economics can offer. We believe that this will clarify any misconceptions about the profession and, hopefully, help pupils make more informed decisions about their future studies”

  • Women in Economics: Student Workshop will take place 18-19 January 2020. Organised by Dr Stefania Paredes Fuentes with a group of students, the 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. This event is financed by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and has received a Special Project Grant by the Royal Economic Society.

Dr Stefania Paredes Fuentes said:

“Female and minority economists feel less welcome in the profession and face a range of barriers throughout their career progression: e.g. poor perception of the competence and ability of women or a lack of female role models. We believe current Economics students can help to shape how universities help to foster diversity. The aim of the workshop is to bring together students from UK universities to present their ideas on initiatives to create a more inclusive environment for women studying Economics. A more diverse and inclusive environment should help to increase female students engagement with the discipline so that they feel motivated to either keep studying Economics at postgraduate level or go to work in Economic jobs. The workshop is organised over two days: on day one, students will present their ideas and have the opportunity to network over lunch and dinner; on day 2, we will have a panel of academic and professional economists such as Wendy Carlin, Sarah Smith, Tom Schuller and Warwick alumnae Gemma Tetlow from the Institute for Government and Luisa Affuso, Chief Economist at Ofcom to tells us more about what the discipline is already doing to promote diversity.”

Further sources related to the #DiscoverEconomics Campaign can be found here: