Women's Committee

Our Women’s Committee promotes the status of women in economics by identifying and removing barriers to progress. The committee monitors and reports on the status of women in economics and seeks to identify and to tackle the causes of their under-representation in the subject.  It provides support for women in their careers as economists and ensures that the interests of women are represented in all of the Society’s activities.

Status of women in economics

The committee monitors the status of women in economics through a biennial survey of academic departments and comparing representation against other academic disciplines and organisations. All the latest findings are published on our survey page.

Supporting women in their careers

Women in economics are supported through mentoring workshops, by supporting departments applying for Athena Swan awards and promoting links with similar groups in other academic disciplines. The committee is responsive to approaches from economists concerned about gender imbalance.

Tackling the causes of under-representation

The committee identifies and seeks to remove the causes of under-representation of women in economics. It makes data available on the representation of women in university departments and carries out further research on particular issues and topics. At the Annual Conference, the committee organises sessions and works with women’s networks in other organisations.

Promote the interests of women

Members of the committee are represented on the Society’s Executive Committee and provide support and advice on the Society’s activities. It also organises sessions at the Annual Conference including the mentoring retreat.

Current Committee Chair

Prof Almudena Sevilla

University College London

Almudena Sevilla is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at UCL. She holds a £2M ERC Consolidator grant to study the effect of parental time investments and children's human capital accumulation. Almudena obtained a PhD in Economics from Brown University (USA), and previously worked at QMUL, University of Oxford, Essex University, and the US Congressional Budget Office.

Committee members until 2021

Dr Victoria Bateman

University of Cambridge

Dr Victoria Bateman is Lecturer in Economics and Fellow of Gonville & Caius College at the University of Cambridge. She is an economic historian, the author of two books, and regularly commentates on present day economic issues for the press and for radio. Victoria organises an annual Women In Economics Day for 16-18 year olds, taking place at the University of Cambridge every September.

Rain Newton Smith

Confederation of British Industry

Rain Newton-Smith is the Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry and previously the head of Emerging Markets at Oxford Economics. Prior to that, Rain worked on the international forecast for the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England. She was honoured by the World Economic Forum in 2012 as a Young Global Leader.

Prof Sarah Smith

University of Bristol

Sarah Smith is Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol and the current Head of Department. She is an elected member of the EEA council/ former elected member of the RES Council. She has previously worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, HM Treasury, Financial Services Authority and the London School of Economics.

Prof Denise Osborn


Now Emeritus, Denise was employed at the University of Manchester for 38 years, 23 as professor, publishing more than 80 papers and one book, many with international collaborators. External roles include Sub-Panel Chair UK RAE2008, Deputy Panel Convenor Hong Kong RAE2014 and service for the Royal Economic Society, Economic and Social Research Council and Leverhulme Trust, among others.

Committee members until 2022

Prof Jo Swaffield

Chair of CHUDE (Co-opted)

Jo is Professor of Economics and Head of the Department of Economics & Related Studies, University of York. Jo is a labour economist interested in low wages, working hours and in-work poverty. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Low Pay Commission. Jo is a member of the Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee.

Misa Tanaka

Bank of England

Misa Tanaka is the Head of Research at the Bank of England. She has joined the Bank in 2002 after completing a D.Phil in Economics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She has held a number of positions across Monetary Analysis, Financial Stability, and Prudential Policy Areas of the Bank.

Prof Carol Propper


Carol is Professor of Economics and Associate Dean of Faculty & Research at Imperial College Business School, London. In 2010 she was awarded a CBE for her services to social science, in 2014 she was elected as a fellow of the British Academy and in 2018 she was appointed as an International Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine. In recognition of her work she has twice been awarded the Arrow Award and received the American Economic Association 2016 prize.

Committee members until 2023

Prof Cheti Nicoletti

Council member (until 2025)

Cheti Nicoletti (BSc Padova, MA Louvain-la-Neuve, PhD Florence) is Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of York. She is also the Leader of the Applied Micro-Econometrics Cluster within the Department, (AME).

Dr Erin Hengel

University of Liverpool

Erin's research interests are law and economics, corporate finance and applied micro theory; she has also investigated gender discrimination in peer review. Erin is from Pine Bluff, Arkansas (U.S.), has an undergraduate degree from Hendrix College in Conway and received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Prof Marina Della Giusta

COVID-19 Response Lead

Marina is an Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Reading. Her publications are in the area of behavioural and labour economics, with particular focus on gender, stigma and social norms. Marina is actively promoting initiatives surrounding both the communication and teaching of economics and the advancement of women in the profession.