What is the “High Water Women’s Impact Symposium” and Why You Should Care

November 2018 | Gender Lens

CCM recently attended the High Water Women’s Investing for Impact Symposium in New York City. High Water Women is a nonprofit organization, founded by a group of women from the investment industry, that supports volunteerism and philanthropic giving. The organization now includes 3,500 members from across the financial services world.

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The organization’s name derives from the “high water mark” measure that incentivizes hedge funds to outperform their last best gains. High Water Women seeks to surpass prior achievements with each new endeavor they take on.1

Since 2013, High Water Women has organized the Investing for Impact Symposium, an annual educational and networking event for impact investors. This year’s theme centered around the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations which address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice.

One of the most notable sessions was a keynote delivered by Andrea Jung, current president and CEO of Grameen America and former CEO of Avon. Ms. Jung is a longtime champion of women’s issues and her new firm, Grameen America, is the fastest-growing microfinance organization in the country. Ms. Jung has held the role of president and CEO since 2014 when she was tapped by Grameen’s Founder and Chairman and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. One of the firm’s primary objectives is helping low-income women entrepreneurs across the U.S.

During her speech, Ms. Jung reminded the audience that the largest emerging market in the world is not a country, rather, it is women. “If women had equal representation, equal pay and equal access to capital, we would create $30 trillion in global GDP growth,” Jung noted. “These small loans enable women to start or grow their own businesses, which boosts local economies and is a significant force in revitalizing American communities.”2

The Investing for Impact Symposium was a huge success in educating attendees on the latest developments in impact/ESG investing. We especially value Ms. Jung’s thought leadership in the gender equality movement and applaud Grameen America’s initiatives and their goal of impacting one million people over the next decade. 





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