FMO is part of a syndicate of five European development finance institutions (EDFIs) that recently signed a commitment with Bank of Georgia (the Bank) to the 2X Challenge, an initiative to increase access to finance for women-owned, women-led and women-supporting enterprises in developing and emerging countries.
Bank of Georgia is one of the largest banks in Georgia. By joining the 2X Challenge, Bank of Georgia signals its objective to provide women in Georgia with improved access to quality employment and economic participation. Over 40% of the Bank’s workforce is female, and they have made significant efforts to support the advancement of women in their workforce. This includes compensation for things like maternity leave, marriage and flexible days off.
Archil Gachechiladze, the Bank CEO commented: “We, at Bank of Georgia, are committed to promoting equality and diversity, promoting a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace. We aim to be an inclusive organisation, where diversity is valued, respected and built upon. That said, I am very glad that our practices to support women in the workforce, policies and programmes in place beyond those required to meet compliance targets, and our efforts to address barriers to women employment, have been recognised by 2X Challenge.”
The 2X Challenge initiative followed the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap Report estimating it would take 202 years to close the economic participation and opportunity gender gap if we continue to move at the same pace. The initiative calls for the G7 and other development finance institutions to join forces to collectively mobilize USD 3 billion in commitments that provide women in developing country markets with improved access to leadership opportunities, quality employment, finance, enterprise support and products and services that enhance economic participation and access.
This collective effort from EDFIs DEG, Finnfund, FMO, SIFEM and Swedfund is an example of how financial institutions can collectively support efforts towards gender equality. With this signing, 13 of FMO’s investments have been declared eligible for 2X Challenge, contributing a total of USD 270mln towards women’s economic empowerment.