The EIB’s Gender Strategy and Action Plan

Gender equality is one of the founding values of the European Union, and a key objective of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also smart economics: it means more opportunities for women and girls to realise their full potential, raising productivity and catalysing economic growth, social cohesion and social justice.

It is our duty to ensure that the projects that we finance protect and serve everyone in society. Women, men, girls and boys should have the opportunity to benefit from project outcomes equally and equitably. With the aim of embedding gender equality in everything we do, we approved in 2016 the first EIB Group Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment. The Gender Action Plan, endorsed in January 2018, guides the implementation of our strategy.

The first phase of the EIB Group’s Gender Action Plan lays the foundations needed to establish shared ownership of the Gender Strategy across the EIB Group and trigger a shift in our modus operandi. Though global in its relevance and long-term application, the plan reflects the strategy’s approach of careful prioritisation to identify incremental milestones over time, with work outside the EU being launched first.

Reflecting the strategy’s three thematic areas of action, as well as catering to the institutional foundations that need to be firmly introduced, the priorities under the first phase of the planare as follows:

  1. Protect: develop a fit-for-purpose EIB due diligence framework enabling clients and EIB experts to assess, prevent and mitigate impacts and risks of EIB investments to girls and women.
  2. Impact: improve the integration of gender considerations within relevant EIB Group operations. The business case for the Group to support gender equality through corporate governance will be explored.
  3. Invest: identify geographical priorities, suitability of instruments and new business opportunities to support women’s economic empowerment.
  4. Institutional change: target leadership, communication, capacity building, information management, partnerships, results measurement and accountability.

Civil society and industry engagement over the past two years have provided us with valuable insights during the elaboration of the gender strategy and action plan. The Bank looks forward to continued work with our stakeholders.