Between 2016-2017, less than 1% of doctoral degrees in economics were awarded to Black women.
The National Science Foundation reports that the number of Black female undergraduate students majoring in mathematics declined from almost 4.5 percent in 1997 to 2.35 percent in 2014.
Wiser Policy Institute President, Rhonda V. Sharpe, has found that a growing number of Historical Black Colleges and Universities no longer offer economics as a major.
Economics has a diversity problem, especially along the lines of gender, as indicated by Bloomberg, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. Appropriately, the discipline has earned the title of an "ol' boys club," with the majority of influential professors and policymakers being largely white and male. While underrepresented groups have begun to make headway in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, the lack of diversity in economics remains a problem as the barriers to top doctoral programs rise and the field continues to skew towards white men. According to Dr. Rhonda V. Sharpe, the number of Black women pursuing economics is declining and less historically Black colleges and universities are offering economics as a major.
In 2017, seven out of 1,150 doctoral degrees in Economics, were awarded to Black women. In other words, less than 0.6 percent. Prior to that, only 0.5 percent of economics PhDs were awarded to black women. Comparatively, Black women accounted for nearly 4 percent of all STEM PhDs awarded in 2017. At the Bachelors level, the disparity in economics is just as concerning. Only 2 percent of bachelor degrees in economics were earned by Black women in 2017. It is also well known that economics is a proxy business and finance careers. According to the National Science Foundation, less Black women are majoring in mathematics and other STEM-related disciplines over time. However, social sciences, such as psychology, are growing in interest.
The Sadie Collective seeks to be an answer to the dismal representation of Black women in the quantitatively demanding fields such as public policy, economics, data analytics, and finance.