This webinar took place on March 5, 2019. To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here. You will be asked to enter your name and email address.
Gender Lens Investing (GLI) continues to be one of the most exciting areas of impact and sustainable investing. In the 12 months ended June 30, 2018, Gender Lens Investing rose 85% to a record $2.4 billion, according to analysis by impact wealth management firm Veris Wealth Partners, The number of explicitly gender lens strategies holding publicly traded securities also continued to increase. In 2014, Veris identified eight investing vehicles. As of mid-year 2018, the number had more than quadrupled to 35.
“The growth of Gender Lens Investing is one of the most positive developments that has been overshadowed by the gender pay gap, lack of women on boards and sexual harassment scandals,” said Patricia Farrar-Rivas, CEO of Veris Wealth Partners. “GLI is one of the best opportunities to mobilize capital and remedy social issues we need to put behind us.”
Here are some other trends Veris identified:
- The growth of GLI mutual funds and ETFs is democratizing access to impact and gender lens investing. GLI mutual funds, exchange traded funds, exchange traded notes and CDs attracted $1.2 billion in capital – 50% of the total $2.4 billion invested as of June 30, 2018. Ten new funds were launched between January 2017 and August 2018.
- Investors are moving from single products to fully diversified GLI portfolios. Investors are constructing complete GLI portfolios to address gender-based violence, women’s chronic under-representation in leadership, and to spur innovation in women’s health care, among other issues.
- Gender Lens investors are changing corporate priorities. Companies and asset managers increasingly view gender equity and balance as competitive advantages. They are changing their policies to attract and retain talent and to implement good corporate governance.
- The GLI ecosystem is expanding rapidly. Institutional support for GLI is growing as foundations, pension funds, academics, governments, NGOs and research organizations embrace the category.
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Colleen LaFontaine is the Director of Development with The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Colleen produces the Foundation’s Annual Luncheon, the largest luncheon of its kind in Colorado, and manages several donor programs as well as the development and implementation of the Foundation’s Gender Lens Investing. Colleen has over twenty years of development and management experience, including as Executive Director of One World Children’s Fund, and Director of Fundraising for Sparks, a UK non-profit programs. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MSc in Population and Development from The London School of Economics.
Linda Calhoun is founder and executive producer of Careergirls.org, a free, noncommercial, online platform which showcases video clips of diverse women role models sharing career and educational advice to inspire young girls to expand their horizons, improve their academic performance, and dream big about their futures. She is also president, Friends of the SF Commission on the Status of Women, chair, International Relations Forum, Commonwealth Club of California and a trustee, World Affairs. She has a BS, Mass Communication, Boston University; and International Marketing Certificate, American University, Paris.
Alison Pyott is a Partner, Senior Wealth Manager, and Certified Financial Planner™ at Veris Wealth Partners. Alison leads the firms Women, Wealth and Impact strategy. She speaks internationally on impact and gender lens investing. She has co-authored several papers on gender lens investing including Gender Lens Investing: Bending the Arc of Finance for Women & Girls.
Chris has served as InFaith Community Foundation’s Executive Director since its inception in 1995. Since 1995, outright and deferred gifts to InFaith have grown to more $1.2 billion, with more than $25 million distributed annually to charities and causes worldwide.
Prior to InFaith Community Foundation, Chris managed community and nonprofit lending programs, and supervised corporate and private foundations, at First Banks and Marquette Banks. He has helped create six nonprofit organizations and served on the board of 10 more, including Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.
Previously, Chris worked as an architect and in real estate development. He completed his undergraduate work at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota, and received his MBA from the University of Washington.