switzerlanden
Assessing gender equality for International Women’s Day

Assessing gender equality for International Women’s Day

05-03-2020 | Insight
Companies are becoming more aware of the importance of gender diversity, but there is some way to go for real equality, say Robeco’s engagement specialists.
  • Laura Bosch Ferreté
    Laura
    Bosch Ferreté
    Engagement specialist
  • Daniëlle Essink
    Daniëlle
    Essink
    Engagement Specialist
  • Carola van Lamoen
    Carola
    van Lamoen
    Head of Sustainable Investing

Speed read

  • World celebrates International Women’s Day on 8 March
  • Robeco uses active ownership to promote gender diversity
  • Gender equality fund seeks companies backing women’s rights

The issue takes center stage each year on 8 March, when International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. The day has been commemorated since 1909 – before many women got the vote in Western democracies. This year’s theme is ‘Each for Equal’.

Robeco’s Active Ownership team regularly votes and engages on the issue to support more women on corporate boards, remove gender pay gaps and improve workplace opportunities for women. For investments, the RobecoSAM Global Gender Equality Impact Equities fund invests in companies with a high degree of gender equality, combined with strong business fundamentals, with the aim of achieving attractive social and financial returns

Now also follow us on Instagram
Now also follow us on Instagram
Follow

Engagement and voting

“We have different fronts in which we work to address gender diversity,” says engagement specialist Laura Bosch Ferreté. “We have an engagement program in which we speak to several companies about how they manage their human capital and, more precisely, how they promote gender equality throughout their workforce.”

“We are becoming more stringent in our voting, both in developed and emerging markets. We’ve strengthened our approach to diversity on boards, moving beyond only adhering to legal requirements. In markets where there is no regulation, we will refrain from supporting the election of directors if the board has not made reasonable progress towards gender diversity according to local standards.”

Junwei Hafner-Cai
Junwei Hafner-Cai
Portfolio Manager

It makes financial sense

Why do we do it? “Gender equality is an indication of a well-managed company that is fully utilizing its talent and human assets to make better decisions that lead to better results,” says Junwei Hafner-Cai, portfolio manager of the Gender Equality fund.

“There is a lot of research that shows it makes financial sense for a company to embrace diversity, not only from the gender angle, but also with respect to racial diversity,” adds engagement specialist Daniëlle Essink. “There is strong evidence that this makes total business sense.”

Robeco’s Active Ownership team also tackles the issues of gender pay gaps, impediments to equality such as childcare provision, and has a focused approach in emerging markets. Robeco also strives to ensure that its own workplace culture embodies gender equality, so that we can practice what we preach.

Logo

Disclaimer Robeco Switzerland Ltd.

The information contained on these pages is for marketing purposes and solely intended for Qualified Investors in accordance with the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act of 23 June 2006 (“CISA”) domiciled in Switzerland, Professional Clients in accordance with Annex II of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (“MiFID II”) domiciled in the European Union und European Economic Area with a license to distribute / promote financial instruments in such capacity or herewith requesting respective information on products and services in their capacity as Professional Clients. 

The Funds are domiciled in Luxembourg and The Netherlands. ACOLIN Fund Services AG, postal address: Affolternstrasse 56, 8050 Zürich, acts as the Swiss representative of the Fund(s). UBS Switzerland AG, Bahnhofstrasse 45, 8001 Zurich, postal address: Europastrasse 2, P.O. Box, CH-8152 Opfikon, acts as the Swiss paying agent. The prospectus, the Key Investor Information Documents (KIIDs), the articles of association, the annual and semi-annual reports of the Fund(s) may be obtained, on simple request and free of charge, at the office of the Swiss representative ACOLIN Fund Services AG. The prospectuses are also available via the website www.robeco.ch. Some funds about which information is shown on these pages may fall outside the scope of the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act of 26 June 2006 (“CISA”) and therefore do not (need to) have a license from or registration with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). 

Some funds about which information is shown on this website may not be available in your domicile country. Please check the registration status in your respective domicile country. To view the RobecoSwitzerland Ltd. products that are registered/available in your country, please go to the respective Fund Selector, which can be found on this website and select your country of domicile. 

Neither information nor any opinion expressed on this website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco Switzerland Ltd. product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, prospectuses, annual and semi-annual reports. 

By clicking “I agree” you confirm that you/the company you represent falls under one of the above-mentioned categories of addressees and that you have read, understood and accept the terms of use for this website.

I Disagree