Private Investors Should Support Gender Equality Efforts

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    International efforts to achieve gender equality should be bolstered by contributions from private investors, recommends a white paper by UBS AG’s wealth management division. The paper examines how wealthy individuals can contribute to the United Nations’ (UN) efforts to empower females and achieve gender equality by 2030, which suggests that these efforts could “benefit significantly from greater input from private individuals.” The report states that “as governmental and non-governmental organization resources are stretched ever more thinly, corporate and individual wealth offers new pathways to supporting gender parity, reducing gender-based violence and discrimination, and unlocking the full potential of roughly half of the world’s population.” The UN’s initiative has only received 2.6 per cent of donations toward its sustainability-related causes, says the report. “Within private wealth, one driver may be that only two per cent of wealth managers treat and serve women as a distinct group with specific interests,” the report says, citing analysis by UBS Unique and BCG. The report emphasizes three key areas, which, it says, have “almost universal relevance for women’s professional and personal lives.” These include improving maternity provisions; relieving the burden of unpaid domestic work; and increasing participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. UBS Wealth Management will leverage its existing initiatives to mobilize gender-lens wealth. In addition, the firm announced plans to partner with UN Women to create a Gender-Lens Investing Institute.