How to Integrate a Gender Lens in Your Investing
Gender lens investing is a type of impact investing that aims to
create a beneficial social or environmental impact and an expected financial
What differentiates gender lens investing is that it is an investment
that, from its inception, is intended to benefit women and girls. Gender lens investing considers gender-based factors in investment
decision-making to advance gender equality. Gender lens investing may benefit
women and girls in two distinct ways:
#1- Investing with the intent to address gender issues or promote
gender equality by:
- Investing in women-owned or women-led
- Investing in enterprises that promote
workplace equity (in staffing, management, boardroom representation, and along
their supply chains); or
- Investing in enterprises that offer
products or services that substantially improve the lives of women and girls.
with the following approaches to inform investment decisions:
A process that
focuses on gender, from pre-investment activities (e.g., sourcing and due
diligence) to post-deal monitoring (e.g., strategic advisory and exiting); or
A strategy that
examines, with respect to the investee enterprises:
- Their vision or mission to address
- Their organizational structure,
culture, internal policies, and workplace environment;
- Their use of data and metrics for the
gender-equitable management of performance and to incentivize behavioral change
and accountability; and
- How their financial and human resources
signify overall commitment to gender equality.
Source- Gender Lens Investing Initiative, Global Impact Investing Network
The Gender Lens Investing Framework prescribes three entry
points for investors to consider when selecting investments:
- Investing in companies that provide capital to women-led
and gender-forward businesses.
- Institutions and investments that apply a gender lens
across the investment process.
- Those that advance gender diversity in their investment
Here are ten ways investors can integrate a gender lens into their
- Decide which gender lens to apply.
- Define what women-led businesses or gender-forward
businesses mean for the investment firm.
- Identify women-led and gender-forward
businesses already in the portfolio.
- Develop a strategy for allocating
capital with a gender lens.
- Evaluate the financial performance of
companies with women in leadership.
- Omit companies without women in
- Evaluate if companies are “gender washing” or hiring women for appearances’
- Examine companies’ promotional
materials to see if they include imagery of women and how they’re depicted.
- Review how companies advance gender diversity.
- Assess mentorship programs to
determine if they include women in equal numbers to their male counterparts.
It’s essential to understand how
gender lens investing impacts our society and your portfolio’s performance. If
you desire to invest in companies that benefit women and girls, your financial professional
can help you integrate a gender lens to identify companies that aim to meet the