The case for tackling gender, racial and other inequities is writ large.

Achieving gender equality is critical not only to advance all the SDGs, but also to create inclusive and sustainable economies. Regrettably, existing gender inequities have been exacerbated by the disproportionate gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global awareness is growing of the critical role that private capital can play in helping to close these gaps. In Australia – as in other parts of the world – many investors are already directing their capital to investments that deliver positive gender equality outcomes together with commercial returns. Others are implementing gender lens investing (GLI) practices, as part of their wider impact and ESG strategies.

We see more and more pioneers in this field, especially across North America and increasingly in Asia. These investors are continuing to show that investing with a gender lens approach can effectively reduce risks, improve investment performance, uncover investment opportunities, and contribute positively to gender and racial equity, and diversity and inclusion outcomes.

There is significant opportunity for more Australian investors to participate.

For this reason, Capital Human and Impact Investing Australia worked together – enabled by a group of forward-thinking supporters – and developed an Australian GLI Roadmap to help investors either start or strengthen their GLI journey, or to extend existing practices.

The Roadmap will be officially launched at the Impact Investment Summit on 30 March.

The first-of-its-kind resource includes roadmaps which offer a practical guide to GLI, tailored to investor types (asset owners, fund managers, wealth managers, and family offices and foundations) and the stage in their GLI journey. The roadmaps apply a whole-of-organisation approach through a new framework that incorporates: (1) internal operations (2) investment process and (3) influence.

The Roadmap also outlines the business case for gender and racial equitable investing, and details the current evolving global and Australian landscapes. It identifies the structures and systems to support GLI, the current challenges, and the impacts of COVID-19. 

The Roadmap’s release comes at a vital time, with the World Economic Forum ranking Australia 50th out of 153 countries in closing the gender gap and even lower at 70th for the sub-category of economic participation and opportunity in 2021.[1]

The purpose of the Roadmap is to enable broader adoption and engagement in GLI. Doing so presents an opportunity for better investment outcomes. Investors have the capacity to bring about change through the investment process. What the report also shows is that intentionally directing capital and purposefully considering gender and diversity throughout the investment process can lead to better financial returns, now and into the future.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of women and the progress that has been made, and we acknowledge that there is still a long way to go. This Roadmap supports investors to discover additional paths towards a gender equitable world through the power of inclusive, sustainable investment.

Co-authors:

Sally McCutchan
CEO & Partner, Bridges Australia
Director, Impact Investing Australia
Manita Ray
Director & Founder, Capital Human
Sabina Curatolo
Partner and Head of Impact, Bridges Australia
Former CEO, Impact Investing Australia
Theresa Rajah
Regional Lead (APAC), Capital Human

[1] The Global Gender Gap Report 2021, The World Economic Forum, 2021

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.