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Gita Gopinath, Pinelopi Goldberg: Women Economists Who Rule The World

ET Online|
Banking On Women
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Banking On Women

In a changing world, women are matching strides with men, breaking barriers and setting new boundaries. As workplaces become more inclusive and diverse, we see women taking charge across the sectors.

The world of finance and economics, too, has seen the rise of woman power. Women economists, across latitudes, are calling the shots in leading global financial organisations. From the World Bank to the International Monetary Fund, it's women all the way.

Here's looking at these power bosses, and their inspiring journeys to the top.

In Pic (l to r): Anshula Kant, Gita Gopinath and Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg.

Agencies
The Power Of Perseverance
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The Power Of Perseverance

State Bank of India (SBI) Managing director Anshula Kant recently made history when she was named MD and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the World Bank. The appointment makes her the first woman CFO of the international body.

Born on September 7, 1960, Kant - who grew up in Roorkee - has been with the SBI for over 35 years, having joined the bank in 1983 as a probationary officer. A Lady Shri Ram College and Delhi School of Economics alumna, Kant rose through the ranks during her tenure at SBI, where she previously also served as CFO. As CFO, she managed USD 38 billion of revenues and total assets of USD 500 billion. The mother-of-two, she has a son (who lives in New York) and a daughter (based in Singapore) with her CA husband, also served as the CEO of the Singapore unit of SBI.

In her new role, Kant will be responsible for financial and risk management of the World Bank Group and reporting to its president David Malpass.


Also Read: Isha Ambani has a plan to empower women, digitally, with some help from Jio

Agencies
The Stuff Of Dreams
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The Stuff Of Dreams

India-born Gita Gopinath’s appointment as the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October 2018 made her the first woman, and second Indian after former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, to hold the position.

Born on December 8, 1971, in then Calcutta, during the Bangladesh war, Gopinath’s family moved to Mysore when she was nine – and enrolled her in Nirmala Convent school. She later joined Mahajana PU college in Mysuru and pursued science, before moving to Delhi to study economics at Lady Shiram College and later at the Delhi School of Economics – where she met her now-husband Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal, with whom she has a son.

Having completed another M.A. from the University of Washington, Gopinath – who at one time loved athletics but gave it up to concentrate on her studies - did her PhD in Economics from Princeton University.

Gopinath worked at the University of Chicago in 2001 as an assistant professor, before moving to Harvard where she became a tenured professor in 2010. Gopinath is now on leave of public service from Harvard University’s Economics department where she is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics. The 46-year-old is the third woman, and second Indian after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to be made a permanent member of the economics department at Harvard.

In 2016, Gopinath was appointed by the CPM-led LDF government in Kerala as financial advisor to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, but she stepped down from the position in 2018.

Agencies
Making A Mark
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Making A Mark

When Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg was appointed the World Bank’s Chief Economist in April last year, she became just the second woman – and first Greek – to hold the position. But the 56-year-old Elihu Professor of Economics at Yale University (she joined the faculty in 2001) was once rejected from the bank for an internship, according to a report in The National Herald.

As an undergraduate student in Germany, Goldberg had applied for an internship at the World Bank, but got a letter saying that she wouldn’t even be considered till she had a doctorate. And that pushed Goldberg to leave home for the US to pursue her PhD.

Born in Athens in 1963, she studied at the German High School of Athens, and gained a Diploma from the University of Freiburg, Germany, before getting her Ph.D from Stanford University.

Goldberg’s illustrious career included various roles in academia (she has previously served on the economics faculty at Princeton and Columbia), apart from her several roles in the economic community.

From 2011-2017, she was also the Editor-in-Chief of the American Economic Review. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is a recipient of both Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Sloan Research Fellowships, and also won the Bodossaki Prize in Social Sciences - among her various awards and recognition.


(Image:Yale University)

Agencies
Shattering Stereotypes
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Shattering Stereotypes

In its recent appointment of Beata Javorcik, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) got its first woman chief economist. The Polish national, who has a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale, will join the bank on September 1.Javorcik was also the first woman to hold a Statutory Professorship in Economics at the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Oxford, she worked at the World Bank in Washington DC. She is also a managing editor of the quarterly Economic Policy, and a member of the Royal Economic Society’s Executive Committee, apart from being a Director of the International Trade Programme at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London.

Agencies
The French Connection
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The French Connection

Laurence Boone, former chief economist at insurer AXA, was last year appointed as the chief economist at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – where she had also served from 1998-2004. The French national, with a PhD in Applied Economics from the London Business School, began her career at Merrill Lynch Asset Management.Equipped with a Master's Degree in Econometrics & Macroeconomic Modelling from Reading University and another Master's Degree in Economics from Université Paris X Nanterre, her other positions have included Chief Economist at Barclays Capital France and Managing Director of European Economic research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.Between 2014 and 2016, she was advisor to former President Francois Hollande.

Agencies
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