Ann Owen, Henry Platt Bristol Professor of Economics, directed a mentoring workshop for junior female economists at top liberal arts colleges and other institutions that do not offer an economics Ph.D.
The workshop was sponsored by the American Economic Association and was held immediately preceding the annual meeting of the Western Economic Association in San Diego, California on June 23 and 24.
The workshop offers a unique opportunity for these junior female economists to get advice and develop mentoring relationships with senior women at similar institutions. Topics included strategic teaching, getting into print, networking and work/life balance. Participants left the workshop with some tips, a new network and plans for the future.
Following the workshop, Owen attended the Western Economic Association conference and presented “The performance effects of gender diversity on bank boards,” a paper coauthored with Federal Reserve Board economist Judit Temesvary. The paper examines efficiency and profitability at 90 bank holding companies over a 15- year period and finds that the impact of increasing gender diversity on the board of directors is context dependent.
Specifically, increasing gender diversity has a positive impact on overall performance provided that 1) there is already at least one woman on the board, and 2) the bank is well-managed. The conclusion that the impact of gender diversity depends on circumstances has the potential to reconcile many conflicting results in this literature.