Sustainability challenge and related SDGs
The world economy is still far from gender equality, and COVID-19 worsened things. Women were disproportionally affected by the effects of the pandemic struggling more with lost jobs and livelihoods, derailed education, and increased burdens of unpaid care work. The UN states: “Over 100 million women aged 25-54 years with small children at home were out of the workforce globally in 2020, including the more than 2 million who left the labour force owing to the increased pressures of unpaid care work.”
But also independent from the pandemic, a lot of work to reach gender equality remains to be done. Women spend on average around 2.5 times more hours on unpaid domestic work and care work than men. This is one of the reasons for the gender overall earnings gap between men and women which stood in Europe at 36.7% in 2018.
Another and probably more worrying reason is the gender pay gap. Women earn on average 13% less than men in Europe (2020) and in Switzerland it is even worse: on average women earn 19% less and in the median 10%. Additionally, the share of women in managerial positions worldwide is still only at 28.3% (2020) and has improved only slightly since 2000 with 25.3%.
A staggering 5.3% of the CEOs are women and overall board seats held by women in the MSCI World ACWI (All Country World Index – covering the largest companies worldwide) are only at 22.6% (2021).
Possible solutions and their contribution to achieving the SDGs
Reaching gender equality is a broader societal challenge. Every part of society has to contribute - from politics to the economy, the educational system and even down to an individual level.
Companies are important players and have an immense influence on the topic. By adapting internal policies, influencing their corporate culture and being outspoken about the topic, they can actively contribute to real gender equality.
Therefore, #BestEmployerForHer takes the 200 best employers for women into account. In our assessment, we look at a broad range of metrics: from gender distribution within a company, over the policies around non-discrimination and equal opportunity to the offering of flexible workplace and time management or family care services and perks.
Finally, we also take in-depth surveys on women’s satisfaction with working conditions and gender messaging into account to get a more direct view from the affected people themselves.
Primarily related SDG Targets: 5.1, 5.4, 5.5
Investment Rationale and Growth Potential
Numerous studies and reports show a clear positive link between gender diversity and equality on the performance of teams and even entire companies. Furthermore, companies that manage to also adapt their offering and communication towards more gender equality can profit through a better acceptance and even higher demand. Gender equality through #BestEmployerForHer hence constitutes an interesting investment opportunity.