Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, SDG 5 sets the ambition to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) recently announced the launch of a Gender Lens Initiative for Switzerland (“GLIS”), established as a new working group within SFG, with the following mission: to enhance the Swiss contribution to SDG5 through public-private partnerships, research, products development and promotion, organizational model assessments, awareness-building events & media coverage.

Academic Research Committee (ARCO)
The GLIS will have an academic research committee (ARCO) of advisors from various universities, to help design and implement research related to gender lens investing, the gender balance of financial institutions, and women as capital owners and investors in Switzerland. The ARCO members stand as follows: Rajna Gibson Brandon from the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI) of the University of Geneva, Vanina Farber from the IMD in Lausanne, Taeun Kwon from the University of Zurich, and Jessica Espinoza from the University of Siegen in Germany.

Vanina Farber, Professor at the elea Center for social innovation, IMD Business School, Lausanne, sais: “Sustainable investing and the gender-lens initiative go hand-in-hand towards speeding the development of social innovations that are piloted and scaled throughout the spectrum of capital. Greater diversity in investment decisions will ensure that the most innovative and promising ideas tackling grand challenges are funded and scaled.” And Jessica Espinoza, Senior Investment Manager at DEG and 2X Challenge Chair, remarks: “I am thrilled to join the academic research committee (ARCO) and collaborate with the spectrum of industry players to build the evidence base for gender lens investing in Switzerland and the world”.

Investment Solutions Committee (ISCO) of Advisors
The GLIS will also have an investment solutions committee (ISCO) of advisors, to verify the gender impact of any product before it is featured in GLIS activities. The ISCO would seek to collaborate with partners like the Aurora Project to define the legal terms of Gender Lens Investing, with GenderSmart’s Capital Connect program, or with the 2X Collaborative to showcase relevant investment products.

The GLIS will seek to identify relevant organizations in Switzerland and abroad with whom to collaborate, such as the Swiss Development Agency (SDC), ITC SheTrades, Women In Sustainable Finance, Swiss Sustainable Finance, the Swiss Impact Investing Association, as well as banks and asset managers, among other stakeholders.

The GLIS will further aim to strengthen and integrate the conversation about gender lens during the second edition of Building Bridges Week, an annual event dedicated to advancing sustainable finance and set to be held in Geneva at year’s end.

For more information:
Sustainable Finance Geneva