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Breaking through the glass ceiling #3 Isabel Schnabel

Event Start Date:
November 11, 2021
Event End Date:
November 11, 2021
Event Venue:

Date(s) - 11/11/2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


The Women in Economics Initiative is excited to have welcomed Isabel Schabel for the third installment of its “Breaking through the Glass Ceiling” event series. Isabel Schnabel is a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) where she is responsible for Market Operations, Research and Statistics, and Professor of Financial Economics at the University of Bonn (on leave).

Isabel offered a plethora of advice to budding female economists, including about how to build a successful career in a male-dominated field. She especially emphasized the importance of mentorship, stating that having people who trust in you and give you constructive feedback is crucial for success. She also suggested that women stay true to themselves and their motivations in order to stand out among a field full of men. Finally, she also suggested that women should work “with each other, not against each other” and stressed the importance of networks.

Isabel also shared her experiences working full-time while raising three children. Having a support system, including her husband and nanny, was crucial to her success. She also shared that women should not feel guilty about traveling for work and stated that as long as their kids are happy, that’s all that matters. However, she did warn against women taking too much time away to stay home, which makes returning to the workplace extremely difficult.

Finally, Isabel touched on the structural and institutional issues, including psychological biases and institutional hurdles, that prohibit women from being successful in economics. She described the “leaky pipeline”: the higher you go up the career ladder, the fewer women hold leadership positions. She emphasized how awareness training is critical for improving gender biases in academia, the public sector, and the private sector.

Watch the full event here: