Giving Compass' Take:

• In this discussion at ImpactAlpha, experts discuss the merits of gender-lens impact investing. 

• How should impact investors weight the financial and social returns on their investments? 

• Learn how to build a gender-lens investing strategy.

The “Better Leadership, Better World” report from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission posits that women’s leadership is key to realizing the $12 trillion “economic prize” in delivering on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, boost social well-being and fight climate change. The report cites a half-dozen key leadership traits that happen to correspond to the core competencies of women in business.

“There are all kinds of ways in which a gender lens gives you an investment advantage,” I say in the roundtable discussion. But what happens if such investment advantages don’t prove out, or if the context is more complex than it first appears?

There’s a pushback on this investment-advantage argument. Should we just have gender inclusion and racial inclusion because it’s a good investment, or because it’s the right thing to do?

More broadly, how strong is the performance impact investment managers and funds in walking their own talk when it comes to promoting women to investment decision-making? Imogen mixes it up as well with podcast host Brian Walsh, head of impact for the fintech firm Liquidnet, who suggests that the dearth of women in private equity and venture capital is a talent “pipeline” question caused by the implicit bias and “pattern-matching” of mostly male partners.

Read the full article on gender equity investing by David Bank at ImpactAlpha.