Janet Yellen

US currency notes to carry the signature of female Treasury Secretary for the first time

The first woman to head the US Treasury department, and chair the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, coined history once again on Thursday as she unveiled US currency bills bearing signatures of two women—Yellen’s and US Treasury Chief Lynn Malerba’s. The latter is the first Native American to serve in the role at US Treasury.

Janet Yellen

In a public statement, a Treasury spokesperson said the updated bills of denominations $1 and $5 will be sent to Federal Reserve early in 2023 and enter currency circulation after that.

At the time of unveiling, Yellen hailed fellow pioneers, adding that much more needs to be done to advance the cause of equality of women and minorities.
The new banknotes are being printed at the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in Forth Worth, Texas. Yellen said that the new currency bills will be a reminder of the contributions of women who have worked hard at the Treasury and in economics.

After a tour of the BEP facility, Yellen said: “We’ve made progress in providing greater economic opportunity for women at Treasury and in the economics profession. But we know that much more needs to be done”.

“I hope that today is a reminder of the road we’ve traveled on equity and inclusion. And I hope it motivates us to continue to move forward,” she added.

Malerba was teary eyed and overwhelmed as she talked about her feelings when she saw her signature on the new banknotes as the first Native American treasurer, reminiscing the financial struggles of her family during her childhood days.

Gita Gopinath, the first women deputy director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), welcomed the move, saying she was personally very excited to spend one of the new bills for the first time.

“Janet Yellen is an inspiration for all economists. It means a lot to me and my colleagues that she will be the first female Treasury secretary with her signature on the dollar note,” she said.