2:00—3:30 PM British Summer Time (BST)

Diversity in UK Economics


  • Arun Advani, Research Fellow, Institute for Fiscal Studies​​, lead author Ethnic diversity in UK economics​
  • Clare Lombardelli, Head, Government Economic Service; Director General, Chief Economic Adviser, HM Treasury
  • Felicia Odamtten, Founder and Director, The Black Economists Network
  • Sarah Smith, Co-Chair Discover Economics and Professor of Economics, University of Bristol


  • Ian Mitchell, Co-Director, Europe and Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development


Economists play an important role in policy-making in the UK, but as a profession, they are not very representative of society. Recent research has found that ethnic diversity among UK academic economists has increased though some groups, notably Black individuals, remain under-represented. At the student-level, ethnic minority students are less likely to study at the research-intensive Russell Group universities or achieve a ‘good’ degree. And in recruitment for the Government Economics Service, ethnic minorities are less successful at every stage.

UK economists are also predominantly privately educated and male, with women making up less than 30 percent of economics undergraduates. Following the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, professions and employers are looking again at whether they are representative; and what more they can do to improve their diversity. The Royal Economic Society has acknowledged the profession has a diversity problem, made it a strategic priority, and launched #DiscoverEconomics campaign in response.

Join the Center for Global Development in partnership with the Government Economic Service Alumni & Associates Network for a discussion on the latest evidence on the make-up and trends in the UK economics profession, the initiatives the profession is taking to broaden those studying economics, and the practical steps that employers can take to improve diversity.

If you would like to joint the GES Alumni network and have previously worked in the GES, please email [email protected]

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to [email protected], tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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