Yellen says women still underrepresented in business, government

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen has been reticent to remark about her historic status as the first woman to lead the central bank.

But at a Women’s History Month reception at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, Yellen broke her silence and noted that women are still underrepresented “at the highest levels in academia, in government and in business” and that she hopes the U.S. does “everything that we can” to encourage more women to participate in the workforce.

“The benefits of greater participation for women, it seems to me, are clear and substantial,” Yellen said in the text of prepared remarks. “As we continue to make progress in recovering from the Great Recession, our country is going to need the best efforts, ideas and talent it can muster to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

Yellen added that the U.S. economy’s success is “due in substantial part” to increasing female participation in the workforce.

“I would hope that our nation continues to reap the benefits of greater participation by women in the economy and that we do everything that we can to foster that participation,” she said.

Yellen didn’t discuss monetary policy in her prepared remarks.