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Report Origins and Women+ in Climate Tech

Ignoring gender can create market risk, an operating risk, or even a reputational risk.”
Gender & Climate Investment

Aon’s collaborator in this report is Women+ in Climate Tech (WiCT+), a global affiliation of more than 1,000 women and their supporters whose work amplifies diverse voices in the climate tech industry.

The concept of climate-related financial disclosure has been game-changing as a framework for organizations to measure and manage impacts from climate change. But an emerging challenge is its potential to lead to divestment, which can be catastrophic for underserved, frontline populations.”
Emily Wasely Practice Leader, Sustainability, Energy and Climate Change, WSP USA A participant in the TECFD program

Last year, WiCT+ launched a collaborative, working sprint called the Task Force for Equity in Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, or TECFD. Composed of professionals in business, sustainability, energy, and academia, the group researched the interplay of gender equity, climate risks, and opportunities. The goals were to:

  • Improve understanding of the connection between climate change and gender equity through enhanced disclosure;
  • Underscore gender equity issues in the context of climate-related transition and physical risks and opportunities; and
  • Showcase opportunities arising from addressing this inequity and the solutions to address climate change.
Through the TECFD, we aim to show that divestment may be counterproductive to net zero commitments and that equity—embedded throughout an organization, from governance to supply chain—can produce beneficial outcomes for both business and climate action.”
Emily Wasely Practice Leader, Sustainability, Energy and Climate Change, WSP USA A participant in the TECFD program

One inspiration for the TECFD program is the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), a collaboration of business and government leaders working to reverse exploitative market approaches and “shift global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes toward nature-positive outcomes.” Members of the WiCT+ TECFD program see philosophical as well as very real parallels between this work and the work to end practices globally that have led and continue to lead to social inequities.

When it comes to women’s rights, opportunity and leadership, social inequities have produced tremendous and dangerous bias, across business and financial services. The TECFD believes this bias may significantly impede the discovery of, and investment in, the most effective climate solutions.

2%

Of assets globally are managed by women—the other 98% are managed by men: MorningStar, Inc.

156,000

Number of jobs lost by women in the December 2020 BLS report—men gained 16,000 jobs during the same time: National Women's Law Center

$0.81

Cents to the dollar of what men earn, on average. This varies by a range of 33 cents depending on race and ethnicity: Institute for Women's Policy Research

It is also critical to note that gender is only one lens with which to view equity. Racial injustice is as deeply linked to climate as gender inequality. At the end of the day, climate change is a multiplier of systemic inequities of every kind, and its solutions multiply in the opposite direction. A successful and just transition will require equity across the board.

Empowering those who face multiple forms of injustice can create a multiplier effect, giving agency to those who have been deprived of it, while generating evidence to support the impact and returns cases to appeal to a broader range of stakeholders and investors.”
Source: Gendersmart, Harnessing Racial and Gender Justice to Amplify Action on Climate Change, 2020

A recent survey of members voiced overwhelming interest and support. Select results from WiCT+ 2021 Membership Survey:

Respondents:

Demographics: 180 total respondents, 94% female, 59% ages 25-44; 67% graduate degree

From companies: 55% small; 45% 100 +; 27% publicly traded

Industries: climate tech, consumer products, engineering, financial services, IT, professional services, and more

Climate Risk Importance

% respondents who say the issue of climate risk is extremely or very important to their organization's work

0%

Gender + Climate: Corporate

% believe their organization is aware (extremely or very) of role of gender equity in reducing climate risk

0%

Climate Opportunity Importance

% who say that climate opportunities are extremely or very important to their organization's work

0%

Gender + Climate: Professional Beliefs

% believe gender equity plays an important (extremely or very) role in reducing climate risk

0%

Reporting Importance

% agree (strongly or somewhat) that ESG reporting is essential for companies to deal with climate change

0%

Gender + Climate: Professional Interest

% respondents interested in employing gender equity toolkit/lens in climate reporting

0%

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