If I ask you to picture an economist, what’s the first image that comes to your mind? I’m guessing it’s a man, probably with grey hair, a suit and a certain air of authority. And that’s not surprising: that is pretty much the public face of economics in Australia.
Very few women have reached the most senior ranks of the profession. Australia has never had a woman federal treasurer or Treasury secretary and only one women has been elevated to the head of a major economic agency at the Commonwealth level (Jane Halton, Department of Finance). Rosemary Huxtable is the current Secretary of the Australian Department of Finance. We have never had a female chief economist at a Big Four bank, and very few major think tanks have been run by women.