Yellen credits greater participation by women in nation's economic success in past century

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The first woman to head the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history says America's economic success over the past century has been due in large part to greater contributions by women.

Janet Yellen says women's increasing participation in the workforce, particularly after 1970, has been crucial in sustaining the growth in family incomes. She says that making fuller use of women's talents has made America more productive and prosperous.

Yellen notes a gradual increase in women in her economics profession. But she says women remain underrepresented at the highest levels of academia, government and business. She says economists are studying why more women aren't rising to higher levels.

Yellen's remarks were prepared for a reception at the Capitol honoring Women's History Month.