Giving Compass’ Take:
• Writing for Eco-Business, Zafirah Zein describes efforts in parts of Asia designed to better serve women in business leadership.
• Are these efforts doing enough to support women in the workplace? How can you work to ensure greater financial support for gender inclusion?
• Read more about increasing gender equality in different economies.
Today, as more companies seek to limit harm against women and generate social and environmental impact, gender lens investing (GLI), has become one of the most rapidly growing segments of impact or sustainable investing.
In a 2015 impact investor survey by J.P. Morgan, an investment bank, about one-third of the survey’s participants explicitly targeted gender equality or women’s empowerment as a key theme for driving gender equality and increasing financial returns, while a study by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and advisory firm Intellecap revealed in 2018 that GLI is on the rise in Southeast Asia, where low financial inclusion is a major obstacle to women’s economic empowerment.
GLI integrates gender-based factors into investment decisions, which translates to investing in women-owned or women-led businesses, enterprises that advance gender equity in the workplace and those that offer products and services that provide value for women.
It also includes investment in businesses that help fight social issues that disproportionately affect women and girls, such as access to education, sexual harassment and violence.
“It’s very well known that not a lot of capital goes to female-led ventures, and there is a population out there that is underserved because of that,” said Amra Naidoo, co-founder of Singapore-based venture capital fund and startup accelerator Accelerating Asia (AA).
In her company, Naidoo is introducing a Gender Advisory Group in a bid to advance gender equality in the start-up ecosystem in Asia.
Besides focusing on a gender lens approach to investing, Naidoo hopes that the group can create a platform for mentoring and women’s leadership, as well as precipitate a safe ecosystem for women in the start-up space.
Read the full article about empowering women in Asia by Zafirah Zein at Eco-Business.
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