Aon urges greater focus on gender equity

Aon and Women+ in Climate Tech (WiCT+) have produced a new report which seeks to quantify the disproportionate impact that climate change is having on women in the home and at their workplace.

The report, Accelerating the Race to Net Zero Through Gender Equity – Strategies for More Equitable Corporate Climate Action reveals that by focusing on gender equity, firms can be better informed, advised and make better decisions to navigate volatility and build a more resilient workforce.

It draws on a wide variety of data sources and also explores how these inequities magnify the risks of climate change to businesses in terms of the key challenges and opportunities organisations face today.

Liz Henderson, co-head of Catastrophe Analytics for Aon in the Americas, commented: “Gender equity is a critical component of effective climate action; progress towards net zero will be impeded and opportunities left unrealized if we don’t bring a diverse team of experts to the table.”

“By placing equity at the fore, companies will be able to make better business decisions as they rethink their approach to capital distribution, address underserved markets and build resilience within their organisations.”

To address gender equity in relation to climate change, the study offers recommendations including:

  • Consider recruiting, retention, and promotion of female employees as mission-critical to climate action.
  • In addressing indirect emissions through the supply chain (also known as Scope 3 emissions), invest in women-owned businesses to increase resilience with triple bottom line impacts for planet, people and profits.
  • Allocation of capital will be a vital component in how companies, governments, and individuals develop solutions to tackle climate risk. Women remain underrepresented in capital allocation positions, and so ensuring that equality of opportunity exists in such roles is an important goal.

Helen Bertelli, co-founder of Women+ in Climate Tech, added: “Climate change disproportionately impacts women due to cultural, educational and resource inequities, which reduces community, supply chain and corporate resilience. In short, this inequity magnifies climate risk.”

“Conversely, women’s influence over energy use, food production, transportation and other areas offers profound opportunity for emissions reductions and resilience building. Accordingly, innovation, workplace and financial solutions that increase gender equity can produce significant bottom line impacts and should be top of mind in the efforts against climate change.”

The WiCT+ 2021 Membership Survey, which yielded 180 respondents from a range of sectors, revealed:

  • 82% of respondents believe gender equity plays an extremely or very important role in reducing climate risk;
  • 67% believe their organisation is extremely or very aware of the role of gender equity in reducing climate risk;
  • 97% were interested in employing a gender equity perspective in climate reporting.

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