|Carmen Reinhart at WEF|
While two of the most powerful figures in global finance are women (Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund), neither incumbent makes the list. (Lagarde, of course, is no economist but a lawyer by training).
In the UK, the number of women who study economics at university has fallen over the last decade so that now just 27 per cent of economics graduates are women. Less than one in three (32.4 er cent) choose economics as an A level subject.
That's worse than the crisis in maths. Some 40 per cent of those taking maths A level (the most popular single A level subject) are girls.
Various surveys have suggested that the motivation for reading economics at university is different for men and women. While men see it as a springboard to a high-paid job in the City, women are more focused on macroeconomic problems and injustice.
One thing's for sure: it's not about aversion to Quants and statistics. According to a study by the University of Southampton, girls who choose to study economics at university are twice as likely as boys to have A or A* grade in A level maths.
Any all-male club is a turn-off for bright, high-potential women who have choices. The losers are much less the potential women economists, who will find other ways to use their talents, but more society at large. With diversity a pillar of high performance, the 'dismal science' will be all the more dismal for losing out on female talent.
Here's my top ten of women economists globally. Who have I missed? Who would you include?
1. Carmen Reinhart, Harvard Kennedy
2. Esther Duflo, MIT
3. Charlotte Hogg, COO, Bank of England
4. Susan Athey, Stanford
5. Lucrezia Reichlin, London Business School
6. Claudia M Buch, Deutsche Bundesbank
7. Claudia Goldin, Harvard
8. Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid and How the West was Lost
9. Oriana Bandiera, London School of Economics
10. Kristin Forbes, Bank of England