Gender lens investing (GLI) is investing done with gender concerns as an important factor in the decision making process. It is done in order to get to better business, social, environmental, and investment outcomes; mitigate risk; and uncover new investment opportunities, among other reasons. GLI as a strategy is increasingly being leveraged by asset managers, large institutional investors, development agencies, family foundations, and retail investors.
While women’s participation in the workforce has steadily increased over the years, the presence of women in top executive and board position remains low, across sectors and geographies. This is especially true for the investment management industry, which, at four percent, might have one of the lowest shares of women in leadership positions.
GLI can therefore be leveraged as a tool to trigger a shift in the market dynamics on gender. Investors can direct capital to funds and companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment to gender equity, or that have gender-diverse leadership teams. They can also shift their internal processes, teams, and structures to become more gender-cognisant.
To better understand the GLI market as it currently stands, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, in collaboration with Sagana and Catalyst at Large, released the Gender Lens Investing Landscape report, to identify and deep dive into the gender lens investing vehicles, particularly in East and Southeast Asia.
Funds are recognising their biases against women
The basis of the private market data in the report, is the Project Sage 3.0 (2019) report by Wharton Social Impact Initiative and Catalyst at Large, and the basis of the public market data is the Public Market Scan (2019) by Veris Wealth Partners. Here are key highlights from the report.
- There are several ways to conduct GLI
- The definition of GLI varies
- The GLI market is both big and diversified
- We have a long way to go with regard to gender diversity
Read the full article about gender lens investing at India Development Review.
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