The mission of WISE is primarily focused on SDG 12 – responsible consumption and production patterns. In supporting SDG 12, it is imperative that WISE ensures a strong, equal voice and representation of women in sustainability whether as consumers, investors or business professionals.
The female economy represents a market more than twice the size of India and China combined. By 2028, female consumers will control around USD 15tn of global consumer spending.
According to a PwC report, women influence at least 70% of brand purchasing decisions. This includes household decisions – such as for food and groceries, health and wellness as well as fashion and travel. Recent trends also indicate that women are increasingly taking a greater share in the decision-making of “higher value” products such as financial investments especially in ESG investing and in big-ticket purchases like property and vehicle purchases.
According to an OECD report, women have also been shown to be effective consumption change agents for families, communities and businesses. Women are more likely to recycle and they make more sustainable consumer decisions. Empowered women – with access to accurate information – can help decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles, thus playing a key role as the world transitions to a net-zero economy
Additionally – climate change and Covid 19 – have affected women disproportionately. On current estimates, it will take 135 years for the world to achieve economic gender parity.
Even as the world commits to a net-zero future, many of the most vulnerable women in the world who work upstream in global supply chains may face deleterious impacts on their livelihoods.
WISE seeks to ensure that even as the world transitions to a net-zero economy, women remain empowered by being included in decision-making at every stage and being valued partners as agents of change towards sustainability.
As Singapore is a global hub for finance and transport – as well as a top location for MNCs to set up regional headquarters for the Asian region, Singapore is in a unique position to impact climate finance and global supply chains.
Businesses that empower and value women can lead to improved results from their supply chains right up to their boardrooms. According to McKinsey, the cost of gender inequality to the global economy is estimated at USD 28tn.
Empowering women is a business imperative and WISE aims to play a part in ensuring this.