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Sustainable investment leader Taeun Kwon on women, money and saving the planet

If we are to truly combat climate change, there must be more women leaders in finance. Taeun Kwon, 32, is so passionate about replacing finance’s power structure of “pale, male and stale” with women’s leadership that she founded a global organization to help women transform the status quo. Kwon and Yesh have a lively conversation about the connection between climate change, power, gender and money; you’ll come away changed by this discussion, and by Kwon’s courage and conviction.

Women have been one of the leading drivers of sustainable finance, or investing with environmental, social and governance (ESG) values in mind. After years of slow growth, sustainable investing is showing dramatic financial returns. According to Moody’s, “In 2020, ESG products saw strong returns and investment outperformance that marked it as a watershed year.”

And yet the mostly male leaders in the world of finance continue to discount sustainable investing, or give it lip service. So says Taeun Kwon. And she’s sick of it. 

To combat the problem, Kwon and two cofounders created Women in Sustainable Finance (WISF). The organization educates women on sustainable finance and empowers them to have a positive impact. WISF offers mentoring, coaching, and courses on ESG strategy and communication. 

Kwon’s path has been anything but straight, as she tells Degrees host Yesh Pavlik Slenk in a lively conversation that follows her journey as a failed collegiate entrepreneur to the heights of global sustainable finance. 

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