Provost and Claire Tow Professor of Economics Linda A. Bell spoke at a Women in Finance Workshop on March 9, 2017 at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, where she served on a panel entitled "Women as Financial Professionals." Provost Bell's talk was called "Women-led Firms and the Gender Gap in Executive Pay: The Financial Sector in Highlight."

The event description is below:

The role of women in finance has recently attracted considerable public attention as a result of a disparate series of factors. These include the heightened visibility of women in financial policy leadership positions (such as Christine Lagarde, Janet Yellen and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, among others); the acclaim and criticism garnered by microfinance, women’s banking and other practices designed to promote women’s access to financial resources in developing countries; the gendered effects of the financial crisis on employment, housing and access to social services; litigation that has turned a spotlight on gender bias in venture capital; press coverage of the scarcity of women in investment management, particularly in hedge funds; and the inclusion of a target regarding women’s full participation in economic life under Sustainable Development Goal 5, which commits states to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The primary aim of this workshop is to promote substantive discussion of the questions listed above, which should include a discussion of the reliability of existing data sets and the assumptions underlying indicators and indices currently in use, as well as the utility of widely used methodologies such as gender responsive budgeting.

The workshop will also serve two further aims. First, it will provide an opportunity to gauge the possibility of creating a network of persons interested in this field encompassing academia, financial services and policy institutions. Second, it will serve as a possible model for annual future workshops on the same theme, or for more frequent ongoing policy discussions in the form of periodic seminars, policy lectures and industry  roundtables.