EIB leaders highlight importance of diversity in business

EIB leaders highlight importance of diversity in business

 April 28, 2022

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Secretary-General of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group Marjut Falkstedt and Secretary-General of the European Investment Fund, Maria Leander, discuss how supporting women is good for business.

"Enterprises with women in at least half of leadership positions have higher sales growth, are more profitable and get a better return on their assets. Diversity also leads to sounder decision-making and better resilience in times of crisis," says Marjut and Maria. 

Women remain underrepresented in upper management 

With ample evidence that women are more prudent borrowers and have better repayment rates, not to mention that roughly 80% of consumer product buying decisions are made by women, firms that fail to make space for women risk performing worse than the competition and failing to meet the big challenges of the time – like climate change. 

"Despite the overwhelming evidence, we all know that women remain severely underrepresented in the upper management of companies and particularly in the venture capital industry, where roughly one in ten decision-makers is female, as was highlighted in a recent European Investment Bank report, Funding women entrepreneurs," they say. 

The pandemic has been particularly difficult for women, explains Marjut and Maria. "They have been on the frontlines as health care workers and teachers, and have lost their jobs in hard-hit industries, like tourism and services."

Finding more ways to support women 

Marjut and Maria explain: "To close the gap between our goals and reality, though, we need to find more ways to support women. In our investments, that could mean more microfinance or other financial products to help women grow their business. Within the bank, it could mean more mentoring programmes, giving younger women the chance to learn from the success of others."

Read the article in full to learn more about how the EIB Group sees supporting women as proving positive for business. 

The EIB Group is a prime employer for women 

The EIB Group's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy sets targets to increase the number of women in senior positions. 

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