By Amy Chozick

Mr. Powell, the incoming chairman, studied closely under Ms. Yellen and is largely expected to continue the economic path she has laid. “They appointed the apprentice instead of the master,” Heidi Hartmann, the president and chief executive of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said.

The change, Ms. Hartmann added, speaks to the broader problem of a lack of women represented in finance and economic policymaking. “I think men have a fair amount of loyalty to other men, and the other people Trump consulted would’ve been more open to a man,” she said.

The White House shunned any accusations of sexism playing into the decision. “The mere suggestion is an affront to Chair Yellen,” the press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Described as even-keeled and soft-spoken, but fierce (“People underestimate her at their peril,” Ms. Warren said), Ms. Yellen has never inserted herself into the gender wars but by virtue of that “large I.Q.,” she has inadvertently found herself in the cross hairs.

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