Central Council


WEN webinar: Women’s under-representation in economics: Exploring the “confidence gap” - ONLINE ONLY


From: Friday April 8, 2022, 10:30 am

To: Friday April 8, 2022, 11:30 am

RBA research has found that female students, as well as students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, are falling in number in Australian schools’ economics classrooms. These student cohorts are also more likely to report a poor understanding of economics and have less confidence in their own proficiency in the subject.

New research from the RBA investigates whether these outcomes might be explained by  students’ actual proficiency in the subject or whether there are other factors behind this “confidence gap”. The analysis finds that female economics students, even after accounting for their proficiency in the subject, still report having poorer understanding and lower confidence in the subject compared to their male counterparts. Differences in students' self-perceptions according to their socio-economic background, however, look to be in line with their actual proficiency in the subject. These findings have implications for the design of interventions to encourage greater participation in economic among these cohorts and support broader diversity among the economics student population.

The Women in Economics Network is delighted to be welcoming author of this new study, RBA economist Joyce Tan, to share this new analysis with us. This webinar presentation will provide us with an opportunity to consider the causes of this confidence gap among economics students and discuss examples of interventions that are proving to work in addressing these gender-patterned barriers.

Joyce’s paper was published in the RBA Bulletin March 2022. A copy of the paper is available via the RBA website: https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2022/mar/exploring-the-confidence-gap.html

About the Speaker

Joyce Tan is an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia and completed this work while in the Public Access and Education team.  Joyce has worked in various roles at RBA Bank including in the Economic Analysis, Financial Stability and Information departments. She completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a Finance Honours degree at the University of Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Economics degree at the Australian National University.

This national WEN webinar will be hosted by Isabelle Layton, Chair of the Victorian Branch of WEN and Senior Policy Advisor at the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

All are welcome to attend this online webinar. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and share examples of interventions that have proven to lift students’ engagement in economics.

Registration and Joining this Webinar

To register please book online below. The link to join this webinar will be included in your auto-generated invoice email - please look out for this and keep it safe until the webinar is due to be broadcast. Note, these emails sometimes get caught in spam folders.



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