Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line. The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) approached thought leaders within the Gender Lens Investing space to get their outlook on the associated risks and opportunities, real-life examples of such risks and opportunities and perspective on how gender lens investing relates to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, including the gender-climate nexus. IEN approached:
Suzanne Biegel, Founder, Catalyst At Large
Natasha Lamb, Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital
Lawler Kang, CEO and Founder, League of Allies
IEN thanks our respondents for their insights on how gender lens investing is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. More resources on gender lens investing are available on our site here, and if you are interested in joining IEN's new working group focused on gender lens investing, please reach out to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org.