Gender Equality in the Workplace

On June 12th KvinnoKapital joined forces with UBS to host a fully booked event with Equileap represented by Co-Founder and CEO, Diana van Maasdijk.


Equileap’s mission is to ”Accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace and closing the gap”. Closing the gender gap could boost the economy by US$28 trillion, a 26% increase to global GDP resulting in better performance of companies and better economies.

Unfortunately closing the gap can be frustratingly slow. At the current pace it could take up to 200 years, according to Maasdijk.

The creation of Equileap was born as a reaction to this slow progression – “we cannot let another 200 years pass!” exclaimed Maasdijk. Equileap has set as a mission to bring awareness, pushing companies in the direction of gender equality in an effort to speeding up the process.

Equileap’s contribution goes even further. Gender equality brings clear economic advantages, but there is more to it. Equileap supports the UN SDG that gender equality “is a fundamental human right, and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world”.

Equileap’s goal is to leverage the power of the investment community. The firm collects data in order to offer institutional investors deep and detailed analysis of companies to invest in, so that they can select those that support the progress towards gender equality.

Diana takes us through Equileap’s Scorecard, a unique set of 19 criteria used to analyse a company. The criteria are grouped into 4 groups A-D.
– Group A – “Gender balance in leadership and workforce” please note it encompasses all levels not just top management, along with promotion and career development.
– Group B – “Equal compensation and work-life balance”, which includes not only equal pay but also flexible work options and parental leave for both parents.
– Group C – “Company’s policies promoting gender equality”. What Equileap has included for a company is not only recruitment strategy and career development, but also freedom from Violence, Abuse and Sexual Harassment, Protection of Human Rights, Safety at work and Social Risks in Supply chain to mention some.
– Group D – “Commitment to women’s empowerment” by simply asking the potential investment for a Gender Audit. Does your work place have a Gender Audit?

Some interesting results by Region for the 19 Criteria:

For the moment Equileap has over 3.500 public companies in the database, across 23 developed countries in three geographic regions. By offering the investor community the insight of Gender Equality for all these companies, the investors may act or react to their investments in scope of their strategy.

Since launching Equileap in 2017, more than ten financial providers including Storebrand, Swedbank and Avanza have started using the database to design products. Equileap has been around for only 2 years but it has a promising future. As Equileap gains traction and attention in the market the incentive for companies to disclose data and disclose it in the right way will increase hugely. At the moment if a company does not disclose data for a specific Equileap criteria, then the criteria gets a value of 0 and thus the company falls down in rating. It will be interesting to follow the development of different companies scores in the coming years as disclosures improves and as companies step up their work in gender equality.

Some interesting points during the presentation:

Equileap Global Gender Equality Top 100 Index, it clearly shows the outperformance against MSCI World Index by c 168 b.p.s p.a.

Top rated companies in each geographic region :

It is interesting to note that Sweden, with 63 companies in the database scores 38%. The criteria that are low for Sweden include pay gap, lack of diversity policy, no anti sexual harassment policy and limited flexible working hours. A kind of shocking … might be due to how companies disclose data or the fact that thev do not disclose data in an appropriate way?

Top 10 Financials in 2018:

We are grateful for this presentation and thank Diana for the insight and the inspiration to take an active part in accelerating progress towards gender equality in the workplace.

For more info: in Twitter, LinkedIn and on the Web.

Diana van Maasdijk – Co-Founder and CEO with heart and background within Philanthropy organisations.

Photos – courtesy of Kim Lindberg
Event organiser and venue – courtesy of Florian Cisana and Kristina Ilar, UBS


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