The month of March is celebrated as Women’s History Month, where the world draws special attention to the unsung heroes of industries ranging from healthcare to textiles to government. In the words of Virginia Woolf, “I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman,” and to that end, teachers and corporations alike take time throughout March’s 31 days to shine a light on the women who never got the credit they deserved. My personal interests are in finance and investing, so for the month of March, I would like to highlight a few of the female economists and financiers who changed our understanding of the market, investing, and the world at large. Here are some worth researching more and celebrating:
Janet Yellen | The first woman ever to chair the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen proved a force to be reckoned with and lead the reserve through some difficult but necessary changes. Yellen served as the Vice Chair of the reserve when she was nominated by former President Obama to sit as the Chair. Though her confirmation was narrow, it passed, and she served for 4 years with reducing unemployment as one of her top priorities. Yellen chose not to raise interest rates unless it would decrease unemployment.
Dambisa Moyo | Moyo turned the whole concept of foreign aid and charity on its head with her groundbreaking research in the fields of development and macroeconomics. Born in Lusaka, Zambia, Moyo studied at American University and went on to research the best practices for helping underdeveloped nations reach their full potential and take a place on the world stage. Her books on macroeconomics touched on ways the Western world rose and fell and how China especially has become a leader in international economics. Moyo is a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum and continues to speak and research macroeconomics to this day.
Elinor Ostrom | The one and only women to have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, Ostrom studied economic governance and the interplay between economic policy and political activity. The “political economy,” as it’s called, examines how laws and regulations impact business and trade. Students of economics learn about “Ostrom’s Law,” which states quite simply that, “A resource arrangement that works in practice can work in theory.” Her work on this topic earned her and her co author the 2009 Nobel. Ostrom passed away three years later of Pancreatic cancer.