Folksam’s Ylva Wessén named 17th most powerful woman in business in Sweden

9 March 2020


In the lead up to International Women’s Day 2020 last week, ICMIF was delighted to see the news that recently elected President and CEO of ICMIF member the Folksam Group (Sweden), Ylva Wessén, has been named the 17th most powerful woman in the Swedish business sector in 2020 by Dagens industri (a Swedish business news site).

Speaking about this recognition Ylva said: “I am honoured to be named one of the most powerful women in business. To increase gender equality, more female role models are needed in the business world, which is why Dagens industri list is important.”

Dagens industri says the aim of these awards is to strengthen gender equality and thereby create inclusive and prosperous companies. Dagens industri says its motivation for awarding Ylva 17th place in the list of the 125 most powerful women in Sweden was: “As CEO of Sweden’s largest insurance group when measured in premiums, Ylva is a real industry’s heavyweight. She is leading one of the most vocal and radical institutional investors which has been a market leader in more responsible investing, including being one of the founders of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which brings together shareholders with a total management of SEK 43,000 billion.”

In a press release issued on International Women’s Day itself, Folksam confirmed the importance of gender equality within the Group and the pride in the work done to ensure that, among other things, six out of 10 people at group management level are women. Across the Folksam Group as a whole, there is an even distribution between women and men.

“Equality is not only a matter of justice but also an economic issue. Companies with a good gender balance make better decisions and create increased profitability. This is necessary to secure the Swedish women’s economy as well as to ensure that Sweden is a competitive country well into the future,” says Ylva Wessén, President and CEO of the Folksam Group.

More equality facts released by Folksam for International Women’s Day are:

  • Three of Folksam Group’s subsidiaries have female CEOs.
  • Folksam sets gender equality requirements for the companies it invests in. Folksam manages a total of SEK 455 billion.
  • Folksam sponsors several sports associations and demands that the money be spent equally between women and men, girls and boys.
  • Folksam works for equal pensions and calls for government intervention to raise women’s pensions. At present, in Sweden, a woman’s pension amounts to an average of 67 percent of men’s pension at the end of working life.
  • Folksam last week released the results of their annual survey on “How Swedes save” and there was a clear divide between women’s and men’s savings with the difference in savings amounting to as much as SEK 1.7 million over the course of someone’s working life.

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