The American Economic Association on Thursday released the final version of its climate survey report. Much of the information was previously shared in a summary report, released in May. But the full version includes additional data, including examples of open-ended responses that reveal the challenges facing an organization seeking to diversify and be more inclusive.
One woman wrote, for instance, that “I think men don’t realize the negative externality of using the pool of junior female economists as a dating pool — it might seem like not a big deal to flirt with a student or a junior faculty member when an individual man does it, but when every man makes that choice, the climate of going to conferences and informally networking is very uncomfortable for young women in economics.”
More than 80 percent of female respondents and 60 percent of male respondents agreed that economics would be a more vibrant discipline if it were more inclusive, the report says. Nearly all female respondents and close to 90 percent of male respondents also said that the association should do more to improve diversity within the field.
At the same time, a minority of respondents disagreed with the premise of diversity and inclusion efforts. Said one economist, “Devoting any time or attention to ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ and ‘climate’ is a ridiculous ‘politically correct’ waste of time in the field of economics, as in most if not all fields of academia and workplaces generally.”
The association’s leaders said in a joint statement that they “are committed to helping make economics fully accessible and welcoming to anyone with the interest and ability to make a career in the field. We ask for the support of all AEA members in this effort.”