• There should be more women at the top of multilateral organisations to help alleviate the financial impact of climate change, according to Amanda Blanc.
  • Blanc is the CEO of British insurer Aviva, and chair of a climate action group.
  • The group has released a report on the impact of climate change on women.
  • About 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.
  • Women only make up 19% of IMF and World Bank boards.

There should be more women at the top of multilateral organisations to help alleviate the financial impact of climate change, Amanda Blanc, chief executive of British insurer Aviva and chair of a climate action group, said.

Blanc and other senior leaders in the Women in Finance Climate Action Group will present recommendations on Nov. 3 at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland for better gender balance in organisations that provide climate finance.

The group is also seeking a global framework for reporting gender data and metrics to help in climate-related investment decisions.

About 80% of people displaced by climate change are women, but only 19% of International Monetary Fund and World Bank board members are female, Blanc said in an interview with Reuters late on Monday.

a chart showing climate change displacement
Climate change is causing mass displacement.
Image: Statista

"If women are 51% of the population, is it that unreasonable to expect that the number (be) greater than 19%," said Blanc, who is also Britain's Women in Finance Charter Champion.

"You've got to be looking at something closer to 30-40% to make sure you've got good representation and a good voice around the table."

Other members of the Women in Finance Climate Action Group include Sarah Breeden, executive director of the Bank of England, Irina Ghaplanyan, senior adviser at the World Bank, Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest, and Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF UK.

The group is also seeking improvements in women's access to financial services and gender equity in governments' climate plans.

A report from the group seen by Reuters and due to be published on the 2nd of November highlights the case of Nafika, a mother of seven who grows maize, leaf vegetables, onions and tomatoes in Mgwase village, Tanzania.

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the gender gap?

The World Economic Forum has been measuring gender gaps since 2006 in the annual Global Gender Gap Report.

The Global Gender Gap Report tracks progress towards closing gender gaps on a national level. To turn these insights into concrete action and national progress, we have developed the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerators model for public private collaboration.

These accelerators have been convened in ten countries across three regions. Accelerators are established in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Panama in partnership with the InterAmerican Development Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean, Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East and North Africa, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

All Country Accelerators, along with Knowledge Partner countries demonstrating global leadership in closing gender gaps, are part of a wider ecosystem, the Global Learning Network, that facilitates exchange of insights and experiences through the Forum’s platform.

In 2019 Egypt became the first country in the Middle East and Africa to launch a Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator. While more women than men are now enrolled in university, women represent only a little over a third of professional and technical workers in Egypt. Women who are in the workforce are also less likely to be paid the same as their male colleagues for equivalent work or to reach senior management roles.

In these countries CEOs and ministers are working together in a three-year time frame on policies that help to further close the economic gender gaps in their countries. This includes extended parental leave, subsidized childcare and removing unconscious bias in recruitment, retention and promotion practices.

If you are a business in one of the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator countries you can join the local membership base.

If you are a business or government in a country where we currently do not have a Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator you can reach out to us to explore opportunities for setting one up.

Her yield reduces by as much as 90% during periods of drought, which have worsened over the past three years, hitting her family's livelihood.

"Women are often the breadmakers in the developing countries as well as working full-time and bringing up a family...and normally working on the land or in food production - those are the areas that are very, very badly affected when you have climate impacts," Blanc said.