Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Women, Wealth, and Impact: Investing with a Gender Lens

In this emerging landscape of multi-dimensional returns, investors are now using a “gender lens” to answer the following questions: Will my investment increase the flow of capital to men, women, or to both? And if the flow of capital and opportunity is disproportionately favoring one over the other, why is there a disparity? What are the consequences of that disparity? What will the impact be, both financially and socially, if I intentionally address the disparity in the way I invest?

With a gender lens, investors evaluate their portfolios for the many ways that their investment choices are helping -- or not -- to right historical inequities and fuel positive change. But what kind of change is possible? What and where are the gains? This paper explores the business case for gender inclusiveness and how investors can work with a gender lens to achieve their investment goals. We believe a gender lens approach will give investors exposure to:

  • The financial gains that companies enjoy when they actively promote women workers, managers, and board members, and/or
  • The broader societal returns and positive impact flowing to communities when women’s access to education, jobs, and capital improves. 

Using a gender lens is transformational - perhaps as much so for the investors themselves as for the recipients of their capital. Sculpting portfolios with intentionality infuse investment decisions with new energy as we embrace the way in which our investment dollars affect the environment and society. Armed with new knowledge, investors peering through a gender lens is transformational - perhaps as much so for the investors themselves as for the recipients of their capital. Sculpting portfolios with intentionality infuse investment decisions with new energy as we embrace the way in which our investment dollars affect the environment and society. Armed with new knowledge, investors peering through a gender lens can weigh investment opportunities for their impact -- whether positive, negative or non-existent -- on women and girls. Put simply, this is a strategy for all investors -- institutions, families, men, and women -- who can benefit from this effective and smarter way of investing.