published Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen praises women's contributions to economy

  • photo
    Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve chair, delivers the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress as she appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — The first woman to head the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history says America's economic success over the past century has been due in large part to greater contributions by women.

Janet Yellen said Tuesday that women's increasing participation in the workforce, particularly after 1970, has been crucial in sustaining the growth in family incomes.

"I think our economic success has been due in substantial part to the fuller participation and contribution of women to the economy," Yellen said in remarks at a Capitol reception honoring Women's History Month.

"Making fuller use of the talents and efforts of women in the workplace has made us more productive and prosperous," Yellen said.

She said that women had made great progress in many occupations and professions but lag in others.

"Women still remain underrepresented at the highest levels in academia, in government and in business," she said, noting that there had been only a "gradual increase" in the number of women in her own economics profession.

She said economists are doing research to try to determine why more women aren't rising to higher levels in some fields.

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