Are Sexism — and the Extrovert Ideal — Clouding the Federal Reserve’s Search for a New Chairman?

 Are Sexism    and the Extrovert Ideal    Clouding the Federal Reserves Search for a New Chairman?

Will Janet Yellen become the Federal Reserve’s new Chairman? Possibly not. Why? She’s introverted.

It seems that the Federal Reserve has managed to offend both women and introverts as they search for a new Chairman, according to this piece by Ezra Klein:

Some suspect that the Fed would prefer a male Chairman:

The favored parlor game of the political-economic complex right now is guessing who will replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The clear front-runner is Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen. But she’s by no means a sure thing.

One important reason she’s not — and I don’t know another way to say this — is sexism, as evidenced by the seemingly uncoordinated yet disturbingly consistent whispering campaign against her.

And would rather their leader be extroverted:

I’ve had a surprising number of discussions that follow the same pattern: “Yellen is great,” my interlocutor will say. “But…”

The “but” is a variation on a theme. She lacks “toughness.” She’s short on “gravitas.” Too “soft-spoken” or “passive.” Some mused that she is not as aggressively brilliant or intellectually probing as other candidates — though they hasten to say she’s clearly very knowledgeable about monetary policy. Others have wondered whether she could handle the inevitable fights with Congress.

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Shared w/me by: Bart P.

Are introverted women capable leaders? I think so.
What about you?



  1. Chionesu on 07.08.2013 at 17:18 (Reply)

    “Are introverted women capable leaders? … ” Yes. You can distill this question down to the form, Are {personality type}{gender} capable leaders? The qualifiers are really not so relevant in actuality because capable leadership is the result of the combination of things such as circumstances or environment (a person may be a capable leader for a given situation or environment), quality of character, sharpness of mind, depth of wisdom, type of worldview, etc.

    Unfortunately, in a society where objective truth is met with skepticism or simply is not considered to be achievable, this is really a question of cultural perception. Since relativistic evaluations are rather feckless in getting at the truth of the matter, the better answer to the question is ‘Yes, but how does one change the perception of both introverts and women being in leadership?’

    And so, consider the question put forth.

    My 2-cents …

  2. Red Dog on 07.08.2013 at 20:16 (Reply)

    “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    Similarly: Never attribute to sexism that which is adequately explained by cronyism.”

  3. Red Meat on 24.08.2013 at 16:15 (Reply)

    I am sorry to say that this post is based upon several false assumptions.

    #1: The Federal Reserve does not search for a new Chair; it is the responsibility of the President to nominate any person who is judged competent to hold such high office. Do not forget that Mr. Obama is also an introvert himself.

    #2: Almost all of the economists who are on the short list are introverts themselves, or introverts pretending to behave like extroverts.

    I loved reading your book, but you are way off on this topic.

    Do not be perturbed: the next Chair of the Federal Reserve, like the current one, will remain an introvert.

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