AlphaMundi Group is a co-founder of The Gender Lens Initiative for Switzerland(GLIS) an initiative housed by Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG), which aims to add to Switzerland’s contribution to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) by raising awareness around gender lens investing (GLI) in Switzerland and beyond and focusing on research, public-private partnerships, and the development and promotion of GLI products. Launched on International Women’s Day in March 2021, the GLIS is endorsed by over 20 leading institutions in Switzerland including the SDC, various UN agencies, financial institutions like UBS, and industry associations like the Swiss Bank Association.
The Gender Lens Initiative for Switzerland (GLIS) released the 2022 Annual Report on the state of Gender Lens Investing in Switzerland during Building Bridges Week 2022 in Geneva. The report presents the most recent developments in the global and Swiss market for gender lens investing (GLI), and covers recent trends and opportunities related to gender.
GLI is an important approach toward leveraging efforts towards SDG5, Gender Equality. The UN estimates SDG5 will not be achieved by 2030, and the World Economic Forum calculates gender parity will not be reached for another 132 years. Gender Equality is the 4th least financed SDG globally, and, in Switzerland, there is a lack of data on the progress of SDG5 and the market for GLI.
The report compiles open-source data, interviews with key actors in the Swiss market, as well as the initial findings of the surveys conducted by the GLIS. Key findings include:
- While globally, the number of gender-lens funds almost doubled in 2021, in Switzerland no new gender-lens funds have been launched in the past 12 months
- In Switzerland, women struggle to break through the glass ceiling, with women representing only 2% of CEOs and 8% of board members
- Only 15 Swiss companies hold an EDGE Certification on gender and intersectional equity
- The report provides recommendations for Swiss actors looking to engage with GLI:
- Strengthening research and data collection on the GLI market in Switzerland
- Increasing investment into financial products with a gender lens
- Adoption of gender-targeted criteria (such as the ones by 2X) in the investment
- process by asset managers
- Companies can strive to promote and implement better gender practices,
including publishing equal pay reports, developing HR policies that enable equal opportunity for women, and ensuring gender-balanced boards and senior leadership
On the launch of the report, Tim Radjy, Chair of the GLIS said, “It is a key publication contrasting global trends in gender equality and SDG5 funding with current market practices in Switzerland. We are grateful to the many industry stakeholders who have contributed to the report and look forward to using its findings to further empower women and accelerate gender lens investing in partnership with the financial industry.”
Furthermore, the President of Sustainable Finance Geneva commented, “By releasing our GLIS Report every year, we hope to advance the financial community’s understanding of the materiality of gender factors and opportunities for portfolios. Gender-lens investing is one of the tools available for achieving SDG5 and this report demonstrates the untapped opportunity – both economically and socially – of this critical investment theme.”