Sustainable Investing Glossary

Gender equality

Gender equality is the concept of providing the same opportunities for men and women in the workplace, and has become a major sustainability theme.

It has three main dimensions:

  • The first is trying to improve the number of women on corporate boards, which remains disproportionately low in developed economies and can be virtually non-existent in emerging markets. 
  • Secondly, it aims to ensure that men and women who do the same job receive the same pay. This is now a legal requirement in many countries, but gender pay gaps remain prevalent in many areas, often in high-profile jobs. 
  • Thirdly, gender equality seeks to improve female (or male) participation in sectors where one gender is dominant. For example, most airline pilots are male, whereas the majority of cabin crew are female, leading many airlines to try to redress the balance through targeted recruitment programs. Other sectoral biases are more cultural, such as the high proportion of men in mining and women in textiles.

Female representation at different levels by sector in 2018. Source: RobecoSAM, SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), 2019

Addressing gender equality is a major engagement theme for Robeco, backed by a RobecoSAM impact investing strategy that targets it (one of the few in the world to do so). The scale of the task is formidable, but there are an increasing number of international initiatives to progress gender equality along with women’s rights. To try to increase female board participation, Robeco belongs to the 30% Club, which aims to see women accounting for 30% of the members of all company boards across different markets. Appointing more women to non-board managerial positions is another objective, particularly after RobecoSAM research showed that companies with higher proportions of female managers were more profitable.

Faire des choix d’investissement avisés
Faire des choix d’investissement avisés
Investissement durable

It is a long haul – closing the gender pay gap will take 22 years at current rates, the research shows, although there have been some successes, particularly in high-profile cases at large organizations. Changing the gender balance in sectors has tended to be more company specific and sometimes involved deliberately changing recruitment policies to make it more attractive for either gender to join the firm, including the offer of better childcare provision or more flexible working policies.

See also: Impact investing

Why the global population is unsustainable… because it is falling
Why the global population is unsustainable… because it is falling
A lower world population is great for sustainability, right?
15-09-2020 | Statistiques stupéfiantes
Four ESG trends that will shape the post-Covid-19 world
Four ESG trends that will shape the post-Covid-19 world
A ‘once in a generation’ shock event, the coronavirus will impact the trajectory of ESG trends substantially.
08-09-2020 | Vision
Improving sustainability in the meat and fish supply chains
Improving sustainability in the meat and fish supply chains
We rely on the quality of the food that we eat – but not all of it is sustainably produced.
31-08-2020 | Vision

Information importante

L’information publiée dans les pages de ce site internet est plus particulièrement destinée aux investisseurs professionnels.

Certains fonds mentionnés dans le site peuvent ne pas être autorisés à la commercialisation en France par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Les informations ou opinions exprimées dans les pages de ce site internet ne représentent pas une sollicitation, une offre ou une recommandation à l’achat ou à la vente de titres ou produits financiers. Elles n’ont pas pour objectif d’inciter à des transactions ou de fournir des conseils ou service en investissement. Avant tout investissement dans un produit Robeco, il est nécessaire d’avoir lu au préalable les documents légaux tels que le document d’information clé pour l’investisseur (DICI), le prospectus complet, les rapports annuels et semi-annuels, qui sont disponibles sur ce site internet ou qui peuvent être obtenus gratuitement, sur simple demande auprès de Robeco France.

Nous vous remercions de confirmer que vous êtes un investisseur professionnel et que vous avez lu, compris et accepté les conditions d’utilisation de ce site internet.

Je n’accepte pas