Conference on Gender and the Economy

November 8, 2021

Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.

This symposium for researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners will explore how gender and opportunity influence economic and financial outcomes over an individual's lifetime – from formative years and early career into establishing households and through retirement. Special emphasis will be placed on evidence-based strategies that remove the barriers to and achieve the benefits of a more inclusive economy, particularly as the nation moves into a post-pandemic recovery.

Session I: The Historical Impact of Gender and the Economy – From labor force, family structure, and landmark policies, the role of gender in the economy has impacted wealth building and financial decision making for women. How has the changing nature of gender and the economy affected economic and financial outcomes today?

Session II: Education and Early Career – Early financial decisions, such as opting to take on student loans or choosing a career path, can have an impact on an individual's income stability and wealth building over time. Often, these decisions are made with limited information and/or narrowed options due to cost, location, or other factors. This panel will explore how these early career choices can have a bearing on an individual's employment outcomes and ability to build wealth.

Session III: Career Progression, Family and Caregiving – During the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers – who already carry heavy burdens – faced additional and unique challenges. Women tend to hold higher levels of caregiving responsibilities, whether that's childcare, elder care, or both. This session will explore through a gender lens factors affecting career decisions and available opportunities for advancement and the impact caregiving has on job stability and financial health.

Session IV: Wealth and Retirement – Policies, decisions, and personal situations can all have a compounding effect on the gender wealth gap as women reach retirement age. How do these impacts measure up for women, who tend to have longer lifespans? This panel will explore how the wealth gap can create exponential burdens for women as they reach retirement age.

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Last Update: July 12, 2021