Investing in Gender Responsive Companies


On 19 October 2020, the UN Women and FinDevCanada co-organized the "Investing in Gender Responsive Companies" event. The event was hosted by WE EMPOWER - G7 Programme and organized in support of Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The financial sector – stock exchanges, central banks, investment firms, pension funds, insurance companies and regulators among others – play an influential role in leveraging the power of capital markets to steer improvements in corporate culture and business environments that work for everyone, ultimately contributing to gender equality.

This event highlighted the WEPs as a strategy for investors to steer such improvements.


 11:00 am - 11:05 am  Welcome (Diana Rusu, Innovation and Knowledge Management for Women's Economic Empowerment, WE EMPOWER - G7 Programme, UN Women)

11:05 am - 11:15 am

Opening Remarks (Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, Executive Director, UN Women and Paulo Martelli, Chief Investment Officer, FinDevCanada)

11:15 am - 11:30 am

Why the WEPs? (Anna Fälth, Head of WEPs Secretariat, UN Women and Anne-Marie Levesque, Head of Gender and Impact, FinDev Canada)

11:30 am - 11:40 am

Client Testimonial (Claire Cummins, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance, Climate Fund Managers)

11:40 am -11:55 am

Q&A Session

11:55 am

Satisfaction poll and closing



The business community has a stake in, and a responsibility for, gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. Investors, business partners, customers and current and potential talent are increasingly investing in, partnering with, buying from and seeking employment in companies that are responsible corporate citizens. The financial sector – stock exchanges, central banks, investment firms, pension funds and insurance companies and regulators among others – play an influential role in leveraging the power of capital markets to steer improvements in corporate culture and business environments that work for everyone, ultimately contributing to gender equality.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of Principles offering actionable guidance to businesses and other organizations on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

The event will be an information session on how signatories of the WEPs can develop their own strategies to promote gender equality based on internationally recognized best practices.  


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.



Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women

Ms. Bhatia has had a distinguished career at The World Bank Group, serving in various senior leadership and management positions, both at Headquarters and in the field. She brings extensive experience in the area of strategic partnerships, resource mobilization and management. Ms. Bhatia has served for several years as Director of Global Partnerships for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of The World Bank Group. She developed and expanded innovative partnerships with public and private sector partners to support IFC strategy in key areas, including fragile and conflict-affected states, gender equality, financial inclusion, support to women-owned businesses and other priorities critical for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, she has served as Director of Development Partner Relations for the World Bank in which she led efforts to ensure strategic alignment between institutional priorities and resource mobilization across the World Bank Group.

In various positions she focused on enhancing sustainability, institutional effectiveness and impact through strategic partnerships. As Head of IFC’s Latin America Advisory Operations, based in Lima and La Paz, she successfully grew the Corporation’s reach and impact in the region. As Director of Partnerships and Advisory Operations, she oversaw financial management, risk management, portfolio management, knowledge management and learning for Advisory Services across the globe. She has led diverse teams, including as Global Head of Knowledge Management, Head of Business Process Improvement and Head of Change Management. In addition to Latin America, she has worked in Africa, Europe, Central Asia and South and East Asia.


Paulo Martelli, Chief Investment Officer, FinDevCanada

Paulo Martelli is responsible for originating and structuring debt and equity transactions throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.  Paulo brings over 10 years of emerging markets project finance experience, including the leadership of several award-winning transactions.

Prior to joining FinDev Canada, Paulo was a Lead Investment Officer on the Infrastructure team at IDB Invest, where he led transaction teams in the investment of over US$450 million in the water, energy and transportation sector. Previously, he worked as attorney in Ontario, and held a few roles at BMO Bank of Montreal.

Paulo holds a Chartered Financial Analyst Designation, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from York University.



Anna Fälth, Programme Manager, WE EMPOWER - G7 Programme and Head of WEPs Secretariat, UN Women

Anna Fälth, Manager “WE EMPOWER through responsible business conduct in G7 countries” Programme, UN Women. As such, Anna heads the Secretariat of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs),, that promotes online collaboration, learning and innovation to advance women’s economic empowerment in over 190 economies; and the WeLearn, a virtual skills school that will tackle some of the skills gaps faced by women and girls for the jobs of the future. An economist, Anna has more than 20 years of experience as economic advisor within the UN system, including UNCTAD, UN-DESA, UNDP and UN Women. She has a MSc in Economics from Lund University, Sweden, and a Masters in Law and Economic from Hamburg University, Germany.


Anne-Marie Levesque, FinDev Canada

Anne-Marie Lévesque is Head of Gender and Impact at FinDev Canada, Canada’s bilateral development finance institution (DFI), where she is responsible for the development and implementation of FinDev Canada’s Gender Equality Strategy. Her role is to ensure that investments bring leading approaches to women’s economic empowerment and the inclusion of women in private sector activities, including investment decisions.

Prior to joining FinDev Canada, Anne-Marie worked as a consultant in London and New York at Ergon Associates, a consultancy firm with a focus on human rights, gender equality and development. While at Ergon, Anne-Marie provided strategic and technical support to DFIs and their private sector clients on understanding the barriers women face in accessing employment, finance, and basic services, especially in developing countries. She also helped companies to implement gender action plans and policies to improve the gender-inclusiveness of their employment practices. Anne-Marie also previously worked at the Québec Labour Standards Commission and the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies in Montreal, Canada.


Claire Cummins – Head of Environmental, Social and Governance, Climate Fund Managers

Claire Cummins oversees Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) at Climate Fund Managers. Claire is an experienced ESG risk management professional with extensive consulting experience. Before joining CFM, Claire worked as a consultant, building considerable experience in developing IFC and Equator Bank-compliant solutions to support sustainable financing of major capital projects. Prior to this, Claire worked as an EHS Risk Advisor for Marsh Ltd., a global risk management and financing organization. Claire is a member of IEMA’s Global Environmental Social Assessment (GESA) Steering Group and has previously worked as an advisor to the board of a development organization focused on empowering women through agriculture.



Promoting Economic Empowerment of Women at Work through Responsible Business Conduct in G7 Countries (WE EMPOWER - G7 Programme) is a programme funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UN Women and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The WE EMPOWER G7 Programme convene multistakeholder dialogues in the EU, Canada, Japan and the US to exchange knowledge, experiences, good practices and lessons learned in the context of the changing world of work.

The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc., operating under the FinDev Canada brand, is a Canadian institution dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries with the aim of combating poverty through economic growth by focusing on three main themes: economic development through job creation, women’s economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation. The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC).



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