Edith M. Whyte

Edith M. Whyte was a pioneering economist at the Bank of Canada. A native of Ottawa, she graduated from Queen's University (B.A. 1948) and then joined the Bank. She successively served as Assistant Chief of the Research Department (1966-1971), Deputy Chief of the International Department (1972-1974), Chief of the International Department (1974-1977), then Chief of the Computer Services Department after 1977. She then was an Associate Advisor, part of the policy-making body at the Bank, and its highest ranking woman. She died of cancer in 1980.

Ms. Whyte served the Victorian Order of Nurses as president of the board of the Ottawa branch and as a member of the national executive. She also served on the Queen's University Council.

Her colleagues remembered her as a person of great integrity who embraced challenges enthusiastically, carried authority comfortably, and had an unforgettable laugh. She was much admired and respected by all who worked with her. Here is an excerpt from "Edith Whyte Remembered" by George Pike, Queen's Alumni Review, July-August 1981, p 26:


Although Edith was only 53 when she died, she left a record of accomplishment worthy of several lifetimes. We intend that the income from the fund in her name be used to encourage Economics students to pursue the ideals she embodied.


Ms. Whyte is commemorated in the Edith Whyte Memorial Book Prizes in Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (awarded to students displaying outstanding performance in ECON 222) and in the Edith Whyte Memorial Scholarships in Economics (awarded on the basis of work in the second and third years in Economics to the top students who are admitted to the fourth year of a B.A.(Hons.) program with a major concentration in Economics or Applied Economics). These awards were founded by family, friends, and colleagues in Ms. Whyte's memory. She also is commemorated in research computers in the QED and at the Bank of Canada, both named edith.

Photo: Edith Whyte. ca 1966. Bank of Canada Archives (PC223-17) Credit: Unknown.