Athena Center - Women Wisdom

Women and Finance: A question of self-confidence?

Women and Finance: A question of self-confidence?

Only every tenth start-up in Switzerland is founded by a woman - although the Swiss start-up scene is booming, writes Camille Kündig on Watson. According to the European Startup Monitor (as of 2016), the proportion of female founders in Europe is 14.8 percent, compared with 10.8 percent in Switzerland. So the country is not a exemplary in terms of progress.

What are the backgrounds? Do women have too little confidence? The fact is that most start-ups are founded in fast and very innovative sectors, such as finance, Fintech and IT. In each of these sectors, the number of women is still limited. Significantly more women are represented in areas such as health, services, food & beverages or in the creative industries.

There are indications that female entrepreneurs could appear more self-confident when it comes to convincing investors to ultimately receive the necessary funds, writes Camille Kündig in her article. But where can Swiss women get their self-confidence from? In Swiss families, the husband was long regarded as the administrator of the money and head of the household. Only since 1988 has a marriage been established on the principle of equal rights for men and women. Before that, the so-called “marriage of convenience "Kaufehe" was still valid: The man acquired control over the woman by means of bride price. Reference: Wikipedia

The example of Iceland shows how women can not only operate financially independently and successfully and how they can also lead a country confidently out of a financial crisis. Three banks go bankrupt in 2008 due to risky credit transactions, the currency crashes and many jobs are lost. The fact that Iceland has recovered from this catastrophe is due to women like economics professor Katrín Olafsdóttir. In addition to her work at the university, she sits on a committee of the Central Bank of Iceland, which monitors monetary policy.

Nine of the 19 highest positions in the Central Bank are now filled by women. Wherever a lot of money is managed and economic policy is pursued, there are now more women in management positions - in central areas such as finance and controlling rather than - as was previously the case - primarily in the areas of human resources and marketing.

Today, according to the World Economic Forum, Iceland is the country with the greatest equality in Europe, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. A law forces Icelandic companies with more than 50 employees to appoint women to at least 40 percent of their management positions. This can also serve as example for Switzerland.

 Simone am 20.08.2018