Thought leadership

  • Date 08 March 2024
  • Words by Climate Asset Management
  • Reading time 6 mins

International Women’s Day

We invited colleagues to share their thoughts on why it is so important for us to celebrate the day. Below you will find their stories, thoughts and reflections. We hope you enjoy reading them.

Parit Shah – Senior Product Development Manager

As the father of two young girls, I want my children to grow up believing that all career and life paths they decide to pursue are open and accessible to them, and I am sure this is a familiar feeling for many parents. I know my words and encouragement go only so far and it’s clear to me the female role models around them are the ones that really open their eyes and make them believe in all the opportunities ahead of them.

At Climate Asset Management, I have the privilege of being surrounded by these role models every day. From the senior leaders we have worked with at our investors, my colleagues who have opened my eyes and taught me an enormous amount over the last three years, all the way to our partners and the communities we work with on the ground across the globe, the role of women has been critical in our journey so far and is undoubtedly going to be a key to our success in the future.

Climate Asset Management is the most diverse and inclusive environment I have worked in, but what makes me prouder still, is that we understand we are on a journey and there is a drive from all our stakeholders to raise awareness, to push for gender equality throughout our ecosystem and to use the capital with which we have been entrusted, to enable these changes. I am a father, husband, son, colleague and ally and today I am celebrating the successes of the countless inspiring women in the world.

 

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Carl Atkin-House Senior Investment Manager

The Theme of International Women’s Day in 2024 is #InspireInclusion as we celebrate the achievements of women and continue to seek gender equality.  As the agriculture lead within the Natural Capital Team at Climate Asset Management, I am proud to celebrate and recognise the role of women in agriculture.  According to USDA data, 30 per cent of farmers in the USA are women[1], rising to 50 per cent in Latvia and Lithuania[2], to 80 per cent in many rural smallholding contexts[3].

Despite the critical role played by women in global agriculture, significant inequalities persist, and according to research by the International Institute for Sustainable Development this has five dimensions: less secure land rights, discrimination in credit markets, a higher propensity for women to do unpaid work, less secure employment and a more limited role in decision making[4].

On average, women-run farms produce 20 to 30 percent less than farms run by men. The reasons for this “crop gap,” according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, have nothing to do with an aptitude for farming and everything to do with these gender-specific obstacles.

As an impact-focused investor, we are pleased to have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) target to ensure a significant proportion of the management roles on our agricultural and forestry operations are held by women or people from under-represented communities.  We partner with operating partners who are aligned with our values to ensure the industry is positioned as an inclusive and welcoming place to work.

Gender equality must be everyone’s responsibility. It cannot be driven by women alone. Allies are important and men must be engaged in the dialogue around gender equality.  Everyone needs to be empowered to be a gender diversity supporter.

[1] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/partner-content-empowering-female-farmers
[2] https://agriculture.ec.europa.eu/news/females-field-2021-03-08_en
[3] https://actionaid.org/sites/default/files/the_blue_print_for_women_farmers.pdf
[4] https://www.iisd.org/system/files/publications/how-to-improve-gender-equality-agriculture.pdf

 

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Sarah Gledhill Chief Operating Officer

Celebrating International Women’s Day forms one of a number of activities aiming to champion Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at Climate Asset Management. I joined Climate Asset Management recently and was thrilled to see the prevalence that DEIB is given to the business and culture. going beyond the corporate to the portfolio level.

Much more needs to be done in society, however interventions which encourage inclusive environments and ensure men are part of solutions at home and work will continue to drive positive and sustainable change. So please join me in celebrating the women in your life on International Women’s Day!

 

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Ben O’Donnell CIO Natural Capital Strategy

It’s important for us to celebrate International Women’s Day at Climate Asset Management to recognise and acknowledge that across most of society, women have had to struggle to obtain the same rights and inclusiveness that men have taken for granted throughout history.

Even today in developed societies, the ongoing proliferation of men-only clubs, including those in central London demonstrates the ingrained prejudice there is and has been between genders through history.  Women’s rights are much more openly oppressed in much of the developing world.  As a father of three amazing girls, having grown up in a boys-only household, I have new insight into the impact that gender stereotypes, including women’s perceived roles within the house and society can have on their willingness to step forward and promote themselves.  Climate Asset Management recognising International Women’s Day acknowledges the prevalence of ongoing gender bias in society and helps to promote equal opportunities for all forms of diversity within it.

I fully support Climate Asset Management promoting and recognising International Women’s Day to promote diversity and equality across the workforce and society as a whole.

 

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Jason Kitts Chief Legal Officer and Co.Sec

Celebrating International Women’s Day is very close to my heart.  I grew up in a small prairie town in a farming family, a very male dominated ecosystem.  My Mother was a career educator who ended her career as a Superintendent responsible for over 2500 students, having taught more than 10,000 students during her tenure.  Watching first-hand her struggle, often as the lone female in leadership to get a seat at the leadership table for over 30 years despite unparalleled work ethic and qualifications, including a PhD in curriculum development, deeply resonates with me as to the unfairness lack of inclusion can play, even when unintended.  She never complained, worked tirelessly to support other women and her students, and, as a mother of three boys, she firmly believes that the fix should not focus on women, rather in teaching men (of all ages) the value of inclusivity.

Working in the energy industry around the globe and living in many different cultures, provided a platform for me to further observe and digest inclusivity struggles.  Now as a partner and father of two terrifically dynamic women and an empathetic son, I celebrate the opportunity to support women (and all pronouns) in the workplace and beyond.  I am deeply grateful to my mother, wife and daughter, and every woman I have been fortunate enough to work with and learn from.

Words to live by from Mother Teresa: “If we have no peace, it is because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.

If we have no peace, it is because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.”

 

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Parisa Rahnama Investment Manager

Today, we acknowledge the invaluable role that women play in shaping our communities, economies, and societies. This is an opportune moment to reflect and say thank you to all the inspirational and remarkable women at Climate Asset Management and around me who have served as role models. Also, thank you to all men who have acted as allies, supporting and advocating for gender equality.

While agriculture and forestry have historically been male-dominated sectors, it is essential to recognise the significant contributions made by women within these fields. At Climate Asset Management, we are committed to enhancing gender equality in each investment, understanding that diversity is essential for fostering a thriving workplace. We are committed to collaborating with operators who align with our values and endeavour to establish inclusive environments, thus promoting and empowering women and under-represented communities, wherever we can make a difference.

 

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Martin Berg CEO

Celebrating International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us at Climate Asset Management to recognise and appreciate the immense contributions that women make to our business every day. From leadership and innovation to collaboration and problem-solving, women play an invaluable role in driving the success of our teams and partners. These activities often happen behind the scenes and plug gaps that are not always visible on first sight. It is therefore great to have one day to reflect and highlight this contribution.

 

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Viviana Lujan Gallegos Head of Nature Based Carbon Strategy

For me, it is important to commemorate this day as a reminder that although many battles on gender parity and inclusion throughout history may have been won on paper, the reality is that women still face many barriers to full equality, inside and outside of work, across all sectors of society and in both developing and developed countries.

Having been raised by a hard-working single mum, I have first-hand experience of the sacrifices that women are forced to make to raise a family, and also the potential that society and workplaces miss out on by not providing equal opportunities to women. This year, the United Nations theme for IWD is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’.   I believe this will be key if we are to continue building a resilient, sustainable and peaceful future, with societies that put to use the full potential that women can bring to the different roles we play. I am proud that, at Climate Asset Management, we are looking at this topic both within our DEIB initiatives as well as through the benefits our investments can provide to women in the communities with which we work.

 

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Jason Parrish Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

International Women’s Day means a great deal to me personally. There is still a lot of inequality and unfairness out there, in the workplace and beyond. It’s critical that we continue to shine a light on these areas and work towards a truly equal and inclusive workplace and society. As the father of a teenage daughter, it’s important to me that she has the same career, learning and life experience opportunities available to her as everybody else. We owe it to all our female colleagues, friends and family to ally with them and continue this journey to completion.

At Climate Asset Management we believe in enabling a diverse and inclusive workplace, and we value International Women’s Day as a key part of the mission to achieve that for everyone.

 

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Varnika Chawla Legal Manager

On International Women’s Day, at Climate Asset Management we recognise the significant role women play in tackling the climate crisis and the allies that support and encourage them in this endeavour. From our investors, through our portfolio management, to the community leaders at the grassroots, women are at the forefront of driving sustainable and catalytic positive change. We’re committed to empowering women in shaping a just and equitable transition to a future that benefits people and planet.

As we navigate the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, female voices resonate particularly powerfully and are at the forefront of building sustainable solutions. On a personal note, as someone who has journeyed from studying in India, where the impact of climate change is becoming starkly visible, to working in nature restoration and climate change mitigation, that supports investments into developing nations, I am immensely grateful to all the women who have paved the way for me and empowered me to work towards safeguarding our environment.

Together, we can create a future where every voice is heard, every person can play an important role and can share unique perspectives and innovative solutions for a more resilient planet for generations to come.

I am delighted to be working somewhere that values diversity and inclusion, recognises the strength that comes from the richness of varied perspectives and celebrates vibrancy and dynamism.

 

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