Letter to Janet Yellen, Chair of Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System - Promote Greater Economic Role for Women


Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) honored the historic chairwomanship of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and called for greater participation by women in the U.S. economy. In letters to Yellen authored by Velázquez and Heitkamp, 75 Members of Congress praised the Chair for her stewardship of the economy, championing women's participation in the workplace, inspiring women to develop careers in economics, and breaking one of the highest glass ceilings in our society.

According to a recently released report from S&P Global, the percentage of women in America's labor force has fallen behind most other developed countries. Furthermore, the report notes that women face barriers to climbing corporate barriers, and often face penalties for taking time to care for their families. According to S&P Global, if American women entered and stayed in the workforce at a pace in line with Norway, the U.S. economy would be $1.6 trillion larger than it is today.

"Throughout her groundbreaking career, Chair Yellen has reminded us that when women succeed, our entire economy prospers," said Velázquez. "From engineering to technology and finance, today, women are breaking down barriers in nearly every industry. Still, widespread challenges to achieving such success persist. We must continue advancing policies that empower women economically, helping to close the wage gap and unlocking opportunity for all women."

"Chair Yellen's tenure and many accomplishments at the Federal Reserve are an inspiration to women and girls everywhere, and a reminder that women can and must lead -- especially at the highest levels of government," Heitkamp said. "Our economy is stronger when more women are empowered to enter the workforce and become leaders in their fields. Chair Yellen's leadership at the Fed during a difficult economic recovery will stand as motivation to the next generation of women aspiring to jump-start their careers and succeed in what have historically been male-dominated fields. Young girls need more strong women leaders to look up to, and Chair Yellen will remain a source of motivation to many girls now and in the future."