When Janet Yellen made history last year by becoming the first female chair of the Federal Reserve, economists and women’s advocates alike cheered the move. But Yellen’s victory also renewed scrutiny of the gender gap in top financial positions. While other departments such as Commerce and Interior have welcomed female chiefs into their ranks, the Fed and Treasury continue to be populated mostly by graying white men.
However, this oft-repeated narrative of Finance-as-Boys'-Club is incomplete, leaving out the little-known but important fact that every U.S. Treasurer—whose name graces every printed U.S. dollar—has been a woman for the last 60 years. Several of those women have been Latina; one was African American.