Women in finance
From longstanding issues such as the gender pay gap to more recent ones such as women-founded start-ups struggling to get funding, there are still many questions about women's position in the world of finance. What is the present reality for women in finance, and what progress has been made towards gender equality?
The European Union’s Gender Equality Index was developed by the European Institute for Gender Equality. The Index aims to track the EU’s progress towards gender equality. The 2022 report ranks Austria 10th on the index, with noted improvements in participation at work. The country also ranks 4th in with a score in segregation and quality of work, with a steady increase in women joining the workforce since 2010. There are also organisations and networks such as Women in Business work within established institutions such as the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber to “support the economic success of female entrepreneurs with consistent advocacy, comprehensive service and a successful network.” However, rates of employment for women are still lower than men. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, an estimated 33 % of Austrian companies are led by women. The Zukunft.Frauen (Future.Women) is an initiative in conjunction with the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Federation of Austrian Industries that encompasses a leadership programme to “promote qualified women and their recruitment in management and supervisory board positions.”
The EU has other initiatives and programmes aimed at getting women more involved in finance and ensuring gender equity within the regional union. The European Commission recognises that “female entrepreneurs have more difficulties than men in raising finance for their ventures.”There are also disparities when it comes to investment, both as women being beneficiaries and women being decision-makers. InvestEU, the organisation’s investment programme, aims to address these gaps through gender smart financing policies and programmes. The Commission’s 2020-2025 gender strategy. One of the strategy’s priority areas is ‘increasing female labour market participation and economic independence of women and men’.
What about the power behind corporations? There has been A 2022 Ernst & Young report shows that there has been an increase in women being part of boards of financial service firms. Women made up over half of board appointments in 2022, with women now making up 42% of boardrooms in financial services, up 37% from the previous year. 2022 also saw the launch of Bloomberg’s EU Women in Finance. The initiative “brings together leaders from across the European Union to promote gender diversity and inspire the next generation of female leaders to consider careers in the financial sector.”
Ghazan Global is proud to invest in and support companies with female executive leadership. From our own organisation, to Plastrans, Uphold, Linqto and Automation Anywhere, our work will continue to promote gender equality.