Monday 30th January 2017
As the World Economic Forum brought political and business leaders from around the world to Davos, Switzerland, this month, two side events held by the UN Global Compact and The Female Quotient made sure the voices of those working for women’s economic inclusion were heard. GBA’s Inez Murray was on hand to offer insights on the business case for banks to take on the Women’s Market.
The UN Global Compact’s January 16 event “Bringing Down Legal Barriers to Women’s Economic Empowerment: An Economic and Business Imperative” focused on the opportunity to spur economic development, propel business growth and advance the Sustainable Development Goals by removing legal barriers to women’s economic empowerment. During the “Business Leader Panel: Defining the Opportunity,” Inez and her fellow panelists shared the business case for diverse organizations and how committing to the UN Global Compact and Women’s Empowerment Principles supports internal buy-in and helps ensure businesses are sustainable and gender inclusive.
On the heels of the UN Global Compact event was The Female Quotient’s Davos series on advancing equality in the workplace through collaboration, accountability and next step solutions, with featured speakers that included Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and UN Women’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. During her “Women Connecting the Dot$” panel, Inez spoke about the aggregate performance of GBA members reporting to GBA’s Data Analytics platform, namely that women have lower NPLs, higher savings relative to income, lower loans to savings ratios and equal products per customer.
The World Economic Forum’s own commitment to female representation has strengthened in recent years, with the organization offering that if strategic partners bring at least one woman to their normal quota of four places, they get a fifth place free. This year female attendees represented 21 percent of participants, up from 18 percent in 2016, when the WEF’s Global Gender Gap report stated that women and men would likely not reach economic parity until 2186 if progress continued at its current rate.