US currency to bear signatures of two women for first time

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US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has said that most people do not have to worry if their signature is messy although it is best to practice if one’s name is on the US dollar bill.

Yellen, who is the first woman to hold the office, made this known at a ceremony unveiling new notes bearing her name, saying “It’s customary that Treasury Secretaries provide their signature to be featured on our nation’s currency”.

“You’d think this would be a straightforward process, but the founding fathers did not account for what seems to be a common attribute for Treasury secretaries: terrible handwriting.”

Yellen had previously said that two of her predecessors, Tim Geithner and Jack Lew, had signatures “so illegible that people made fun of them.”

She added “I’ll admit: I spent some quality time practicing my signature”.

Apart from the first female Treasury Secretary’s name appearing on them, the new notes which were unveiled on Thursday will also be historic for including two women’s signatures, comprising that of Yellen and US Treasurer, Lynn Malerba.

Yellen said in a speech at the Fort Worth, Texas money printing facility “Today is not about me or a new signature on our currency. It’s about our collective work to create a stronger and more inclusive economy”.

The Treasury Department said the notes, which will be delivered to the US Federal Reserve this month, will be in circulation from early 2023.

Yellen noted that women currently represent about 62 percent of the Treasury workforce and hold positions of power although she said that much more still needs to be done.

She stated “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”.

Malerba, whose signature also marks the first time US currency will feature the signature of a Native American woman said “This moment is history”.

The first notes bearing Yellen and Malerba’s signature coming into circulation will be $1 and $5 bills.

Apart from the site in Texas, the only other greenback printing facility is in the US capital Washington.