Each year Women for UMass Amherst awards campus projects and programs selected by donors to the fund. The Department of Economics has received a $4,000 award from Women for UMass Amherst for the proposal, “Encouraging Women to Major in Economics.”
Fewer than 20 percent of economics majors at UMass Amherst are women, compared to between 30 and 40 percent nationally. In spring 2012 the department began research to identify aspects of our program that may fail to engage undergraduate women. Professor Gerald Friedman and Ph.D. student Alexis Doyle identified decision points where disproportionate numbers of women stop taking economics courses or choose other majors.
The Women for UMass Amherst award allows Friedman and Doyle to further their research with the aim of developing strategies to attract and retain more women for the major.