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Exploring the S in ESG: Switzerland’s Burgeoning Green Finance Space

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Exploring the S in ESG: Switzerland’s Burgeoning Green Finance Space

​A world leader in sustainable finance, Switzerland’s unique regulatory dynamics, best-in-class talent pool, and resilient economy make it a hub of ESG-focused enterprise. According to recent reports, sustainable funds make up around 53% of Switzerland’s total fund market.

Sustainability-focused roles are amongst the fastest-growing vacancies worldwide, and Switzerland’s financial services space is no different.

As the deadline for the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) looms, Switzerland finds itself in a strong position to lead the charge into a greener financial future (having already achieved several SDG targets).

Moreover, 2024 marks the first year that mandatory ESG reports are due, driving demand for sustainability talent even higher.

As climate concerns rise and corporate paradigms shift, the finance world evolves at pace. Talent will be a key battleground in the race to develop defensible, adaptable, and sustainable organisations. What can businesses do to sharpen their competitive edge?

Diversity-Focused Hiring

Despite fantastic progress in recent years, Switzerland’s gender pay parity problem – particularly in finance – has persisted. As of 2024, women earn nearly 18% less than their male counterparts (Euronews, 2024).

In 2020, the Swiss government mandated gender guidelines. The revised Federal Act on Gender Equality states that at least 30% female representation is required on listed company boards, and 20% representation on executive boards by 2026.

While it’s a long transition period, we’re seeing positive progress already, with 2023 being the first time the target had been met (34.4% female representation on newly elected boards).  

Diversity-focused recruitment presents an opportunity to both move the dial on financial inclusivity and close skill gaps, but it can be difficult to get right. Here at Broadgate, diversity and inclusion are woven into our every process. We’ve been using a diversity-focused recruitment methodology to connect innovators with top talent since day one, and it’s helped us identify, attract, and retain candidates even in skill-short markets.

Closing the gender pay gap is a responsibility that stretches beyond financial services. Sustainable workforce solutions of any kind depend on it. Whether you’re hoping to build out a new function or hire your first CFO, our specialist consultants are equipped to support you across the entire talent lifecycle. Find out more here – we are Broadgate.

Expand Specialisation Opportunities

Switzerland is facing off against a historic talent crunch, partly thanks to a lack of access to niche skillsets in tech and compliance. The talent landscape is at a crossroads, and candidates are eager to upskill in emergent areas like sustainability.

Whether that’s learning about impact investment strategies, sustainability reporting, or green bond issuance processes, there are plenty of avenues to explore for ambitious finance professionals, and they’ll be looking for employers that grant them the means to specialise.

Leaders must take the long-term view and invest in developing their internal workforce if they hope to future-proof their talent pipeline and retain their top candidates. This not only develops a growth-enabled environment of continuous learning, but also spotlights a dedication to sustainability and corporate responsibility, and speaking of which…

Target Transferrable Skills

When talent pools start to shrink, alternative recruitment methodologies are the ideal remedies to skill shortages. Targeting transferrable skills is often a core part of that strategy, and it aligns with what we’re seeing in the market – candidates from non-traditional finance backgrounds are moving over into sustainability roles, for example, ESG analysis, equity research, or corporate responsibility management.

Prevailing skill gaps are fundamentally altering the way firms are approaching recruitment, and those that fail to adapt will likely struggle to retain their competitive edge. Hiring managers often lack the networks to pinpoint transferrable talent, especially when everyone is looking in the same candidate pools, leading many to turn to outsourced solutions.

Support from Broadgate

As a B Corp accredited recruitment firm, we’re eager to partner with fellow purpose-driven businesses who share our vision of a more equitable working future. If this sounds familiar, we’d love to connect. Meet the team here: