UN Women Panel – Investments, Gender Equality, Women and Access to Finance

May 4th, 2021

In a world where only 2% of investment capital is directed towards women-run companies, and where only 19% of European STEM degrees are awarded to women, we need solutions for women to be able to access capital to fund their projects and close the gender gap in the business and tech world. 

As a result, UN Women and ILO are pioneering the Win Win initiative with the help of investors working towards equal opportunities and access to finance for women. 

History is full of women who have significantly contributed to the development of technology, like the creation of wifi, but the public image of STEM is still male-led. Win Win is propelled forward by the notion that science and technology won’t reach their maximum potential without the contribution of women around the world, and that directing more capital and creating more opportunities for women in STEM will only benefit everyone involved, individuals and companies alike.

With this context, on Tuesday, May 4th, Founder and CEO of SheWorks! Silvina Moschini spoke about the difficulties of raising funds as a woman, about VC’s lack of contribution to women-led companies, and the alternative ways of raising capital for startups. In addition, she mentioned her new project, Unicorn Hunters Show, and its goal of democratizing access to capital for entrepreneurs, giving more people more opportunities.

The panel focused on the lack of investments in women-run companies, the lack of women in positions of power, and the fact that women tend to generate more returns from investments than men, despite raising less money for their companies. Women have various impediments when looking for investments for their companies, often related to the lack of women making decisions in the finance world, especially VCs. 

Another focal point was the lack of women studying engineering, technology, and science and therefore the lack of women employed in these fields. The overarching theme was that increasing women in STEM, in positions of power, and as recipients of capital, is a win-win situation for gender equality and for businesses. Companies that hire more women enjoy increased efficiency, problem solving skills, and diverse perspectives that can have positive social repercussions in the world of tech, engineering, finance, and business. 

Some significant takeaways:

  • Think Differently: “The key is to think differently, to use the power of technology, transparency, and people themselves to change the dynamic and the results. We need to think big and different from everyone else. In my case, VC’s didn’t give me capital, so I used crowdfunding to enable people around the world to invest in my company”.
  • Eliminate Biases: “I wanted to take away the bias from the few men that control the world’s wallet”.
  • Impactful Innovation: “The objective is that women don’t get left behind when it’s time to raise money for their businesses. By doing things a bit differently, we can change our reality”.
  • Open the Playing Field: “We want to democratize access to capital”.
  • Utilize Technology for Change: “We need to look for alternatives because we won’t fix today’s problems with the tools of yesterday, and technology offers us a new way to see things and to find solutions”.

Watch the full video: https://www.facebook.com/164497266896144/videos/289186289588655