Thursday, May 6, 2021

How Janet Yellen Keeps Shattering Glass Ceilings

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Hello, Broadsheet readers! Ursula von der Leyen’s vaccine distribution decisions in the EU were quickly criticized, Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. could be made public, and Janet Yellen is the most prepared woman in Washington. Go get your Monday.

Today’s guest essay comes from Fortune political reporter Nicole Goodkind:

The most prepared woman in Washington.Janet Yellen, the new Treasury Secretary, is a serial glass ceiling breaker. She was the only woman in her class to earn a doctorate in economics. at Yale University, and for some time was the only female professor of economics at Harvard University. She served under President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (a rare non-first time; she was the second woman to hold that role). In 2014, she was confirmed as the first female chairman of the Federal Reserve, under President Barack Obama. She is now the first woman to hold the post of Head of the Treasury.

Her new position also makes Yellen the first person – of any gender – to complete the Holy Trinity of the American financial circuit: chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, President of the Fed and Secretary of the Treasury. The list of her accomplishments and career highlights is long enough to fill a tome the size of Proust, but when it comes to the woman behind the CV, very little is known – barely worth it. a new one.

In FortuneFebruary / March issue, I set out to discover what drives Yellen, the woman who will be responsible for the Biden administration’s efforts to stabilize a faltering US economy that has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic – and that will have a profound impact on how quickly the economy can rebound.

To do this, I spoke with Yellen and those close to him: former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, San Francisco Fed Chairman Mary C. Daly, and David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. They all echoed the 74-year-old economist’s similar impressions: she leads with a quiet confidence that comes from always being the most prepared and studied person in the room. When asked to describe Yellen, Bernanke turned to a reference from the 1970s: “When Janet Yellen speaks, people listen. (You can see the EF Hutton ad he was referring to Here.)

For more on Janet Yellen and what she’d like to add to her ever-evolving trailer,read the full profile here.

Nicole goodkind
nicole.goodkind@fortune.com
@nicolegoodkind

Today’s Broadsheet was organized by Emma Hinchliffe.



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