Gender Lens Investing: Driving Monetary Returns and Social Impression

What’s Gender Lens Investing?

Gender lens investing has emerged as a strong influence funding technique that mixes pursuing monetary returns with pursuing gender equality and social well-being. It acknowledges the significance of investing in girls as enterprise homeowners, as purchasers/prospects, in addition to of their workforce and management roles, to foster stronger, faster-growing establishments that obtain higher monetary returns and create a extra equitable world.

At its core, gender lens investing seeks to generate constructive social influence by supporting girls’s engagement in enterprise and the economic system. This normally encompasses investing in women-owned companies, or companies that supply services and products that improve girls’s well-being, or companies that create job and management alternatives for girls, or the entire above. By directing capital in the direction of corporations and initiatives that promote gender equality, traders can drive constructive change whereas additionally attaining monetary success.

The Energy of Gender Lens Investing

Based on 2021 information revealed by GenderSmart, sustainable or influence investing flows had been estimated at USD 40 trillion in 2021 however, of that, solely USD 17–20 billion included gender lens investing. It is a substantial missed alternative for the reason that potential beneficial properties of investing in girls’s financial engagement is nicely documented. The McKinsey International Institute present in 2020 that advancing gender equality and opening financial pathways for girls might add $13 trillion to the worldwide gross home product (GDP) by 2030, furthering social and financial development and resilience for all teams.  A report from Oliver Wyman in the identical yr estimated that monetary companies corporations are lacking not less than a $700 billion income alternative annually by not absolutely assembly the wants of girls prospects.

Analysis persistently exhibits that corporations with various management groups and inclusive practices outperform their friends. By investing in companies that prioritize gender equality amongst their prospects and their workforces, traders can faucet into this potential for monetary outperformance.

How does Gender Lens Investing Work?

The method of gender lens investing entails every stage of the funding cycle.  On the funding choice stage, gender lens traders  would consider goal corporations’ gender variety in management, office insurance policies that help girls, and services or products that profit girls, similar to entry to finance, training, or healthcare for girls and ladies. On the negotiation of phrases and situations stage, gender lens traders would require commitments from administration round gender finest practices and gender disaggregated reporting for accountability.  Through the holding interval, gender lens traders would train their affect to push for such finest practices, and construction administration incentives that reward progress towards gender parity within the workforce and buyer base. 

To measure the influence of gender lens investing, rigorous information assortment and evaluation are important. This contains gathering gender-disaggregated information, which offers insights into the experiences and outcomes of girls inside the funding portfolio. This data-driven strategy helps corporations observe progress, establish areas for enchancment, and acquire necessary information on which to base administration selections.  For the gender lens investor, it can show the social and monetary influence of their investments.   Lastly, on the conclusion or exit of the funding, gender lens traders would search to lock in gender beneficial properties by making certain new traders will proceed to worth gender variety. 

It ought to go with out saying that gender lens traders ought to themselves mirror gender variety of their funding groups, however to this point the funding trade remains to be male-dominated with relative few girls in management positions and funding decision-making roles.  This, too, should be a magnet for gender lens traders, particularly because the outperformance potential of gender-diverse funding groups can be supported by analysis.

Girls’s World Banking’s Expertise with Gender Lens Investing

With WWB Capital Companions and WWB Capital Companions II funds, Girls’s World Banking Asset Administration (WAM) has invested roughly $100 million in 21 inclusive monetary establishments spanning Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Center East & North Africa, and Latin America. These investments have had a transformative influence, reaching roughly 8.5 million girls.  We’ve proven constructive correlations between gender variety amongst workforce and buyer bases and development and profitability.  We’ve proven constructive correlations between girls and credit score high quality. We’ve additionally helped drive towards gender parity in common loans sizes.  

Every WWB Capital Companions II Portfolio Firm, undergoes a complete Gender Efficiency Research, to generate and leverage data-driven insights. This evaluation delves deep into the gender dynamics inside the firm, its operations and its consumer base, enabling the event of a custom-made, strategic Gender Motion Plan. This distinctive strategy to gender lens investing is meticulously designed to drive significant change and maximize the outcomes of our investments.


Gender lens investing inside the realm of influence investing harnesses the ability of capital to drive significant change. By constructing gender-diverse funding groups and strategically deploying investments in women-led companies, gender-diverse establishments, and firms championing gender equality, traders could make a quantifiable distinction in advancing gender equality whereas concurrently reaping monetary rewards. The rising prominence of gender lens investing signifies a strong shift in funding practices, one which embraces the interconnectedness of monetary returns and social influence. By means of this strategy, traders might be catalysts for change, driving us nearer to a world the place gender equality is not only an aspiration however a tangible actuality.

This weblog was written by Girls’s World Banking Communications Intern & Hollins College Scholar Charvi Gangwani.

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