Giving Compass’ Take:
• Jo Andrews and Diana van Maasdijk explain how they developed the Equileap Scorecard, with the help of philanthropic support, to rank companies and facilitate informed gender-lens investing.
• How can funders use this information to inform investing? How can this work be expanded and replicated?
When Diana van Maasdijk and I set up Equileap two years ago, we asked ourselves whether, instead of focusing on any single SDG such as “Zero Hunger” or “Quality Education,” we might be more effective if we sought to improve outcomes for an entire marginalized population and thereby have an impact on all the SDGs rather than just one.
Women and girls comprise the world’s largest marginalized population, and existing research tells us that improving their economic status would have an impact on nearly all of the SDGs, including Goal 13, which combats climate change. Drawdown – The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken, confirms that educating girls, along with attaining universal access to family planning for all women in all countries, together constitute the most effective solution to reduce CO2 emissions, outweighing any single technological innovation.
We focused on economic justice for women, reasoning that this is a neglected but important lever to reduce global poverty and inequality, and that improving workplace gender equality in a global economy made sense, where millions of women are expected to transition from the informal to the formal workforce over the next 20 years.
The best framework we identified, the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles, inspired the first Equileap Scorecard, a direct measuring system to enable us to collect data and create rankings of public companies.
We ranked over 3,000 companies in 23 countries last year on their progress towards gender equality, and we are about to publish our second ranking and report this year. For the first time, a mining company in Australia is able to compare its gender equality performance with a French cosmetics company or an American bank. Companies can benchmark their performance and see what they need to do to improve, governments can understand what policy interventions make a difference to women and men in the workplace, and, above all, investors know which companies to invest in to reward those firms that lead the way in gender equality.
Read the full article about gender-lens investing by Jo Andrews and Diana van Maasdijk at PEAK Insight Journal.
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