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Joelle Gamble    

Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Labor

Among economists, Joelle Gamble stands out. She’s not only just the second Black woman to serve as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, but she has an openly progressive bent. She also stands out in an environment not known for diversity: Just 29% of economists employed by the federal government are women, and only 10% identify as a minority.

For Gamble, who earned her master’s from Princeton University, it’s critical to have different perspectives and representation in fields like economics, which has been historically homogenous. “Your experiences, whether you acknowledge them or not, inform how you approach the world,” Gamble says. “I am a Black woman, and I frankly struggled a great deal to get seen in econ policy spaces.”

With a background in progressive economics, Gamble continues to push boundaries, routinely taking to Twitter to discuss the latest job reports and other workforce trends. “The scale of change that the government can make, even the smallest administrative action, has huge implications for businesses and workers,” she says. “I just never thought I would have that opportunity to help people on that scale.”

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