In the wake of the #MeToo movement, awareness of gender inequality is becoming more widespread. An increasing number of people around the world are taking action and using a gender lens to consciously improve outcomes for women.
Image source: Harper’s BAZAAR
While we still have a long way to go, the past year had some significant wins for women. Overseas, Spain’s new prime minister appointed a majority-female cabinet. In Saudi Arabia, women are now allowed to legally drive cars. In the U.S., a record 117 women won elections in November, of whom 42 are women of color. More recently, you football fans may have noticed that Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game.
Image source: Al Bello/Getty Images
2018 was also an important year for gender lens investing (GLI). GLI is the practice of investing for financial return while also considering the benefits to women. According to Impact Alpha:
“Project Sage found that more than two dozen new private gender-lens funds launched in 2018, bringing to 87 the number of private equity, venture capital, and private debt funds making bets on women. The funds have raised $2.25 billion and backed 828 companies. As many as 60 were raised by first-time gender-lens fund managers.
Veris Wealth Partners identified nearly three dozen publicly traded gender-lens vehicles that hold $2.4 billion in investor capital, up 85% over last year. The much bigger category of institutional assets that take gender issues into consideration is $868 billion, according to the US SIF Foundation.”1
CCM also experienced momentum in its gender lens initiatives, including purchasing seven gender lens focused investments throughout the year. We continue to seek gender lens opportunities for our clients in both fixed income and equity investments.
In addition, our Gender Lens Investing report was extremely well received, getting media mentions in a number of articles, including Financial Times and NPR’s Marketplace. To learn more about CCM and our take on gender lens investing, we encourage you to read our research paper, “Gender Lens Investing: Opportunities in Fixed Income”.
1US SIF Foundation, Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends (2018), https://www.ussif.org/trends