A Round Up of the Gender Lens Investing Ecosystem in 2018
In its latest report on Gender Lens Investing (GLI), Veris Wealth Partners examines the key developments of the past 12 months and highlights the investment providers who are meeting the growing investor demand. Below is a summary of the most compelling recent developments in GLI, which the authors share in the report:
1. Capital inflows to public market gender-focused products are accelerating and the pace of new product offerings is quickening. In just four years, assets under management (AUM) have jumped from $100 million to $2.4 billion today. The number of investment strategies has more than quadrupled, going from 8 options to 35.
2. The growing number of mutual funds and ETFs is democratizing access to impact and gender lens investing. The accessibility of these liquid, relatively low-fee, and low-minimum vehicles are on-ramps for millions of investors supportive of gender equality.
3. Investors are making the leap from single products to portfolios. As new investing options emerge across asset classes, pioneering investors are moving beyond embedding one or two products in their portfolios. Instead, they are constructing fully diversified gender lens portfolios to address gender-based violence, women’s chronic under-representation in leadership, and spur innovations in women’s health care.
4. The GLI ecosystem is expanding, as new entrants are contributing capital, purpose, philanthropy, thought leadership and analytical resources. Institutional support is growing as foundations, pension funds, academics, governments, NGOs and research organizations see the opportunities in GLI. Women’s philanthropic groups and investing networks are educating their members and providing resources. Other entrants are offering investing platforms with GLI options. Still others are providing third-party certifications of equitable workplaces.
5. Gender Lens investors are changing corporate priorities and how capital markets value women and girls. Increasingly, companies and asset managers view gender equity and balance as competitive advantages, helping attract top talent and serving as markers of good corporate governance. In part to address and mitigate potential risks, more companies are disclosing gender pay gaps and moving to ensure pay equity.