Gender lens investing is the incorporation of a gender analysis into the systems of investing to make better decisions. A gender analysis is a disciplined approach to understanding how differences in power impact the advantages or oppression people experience based on their gender. An intersectional gender analysis considers how ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, ability and other realities limit or compound experiences of advantage of oppression. An analysis of gender relations can tell us who has access, who has control, who is likely to benefit from investments, and who is likely to lose out if these power differentials are not taken into consideration. The point is to see and analyze patterns often unseen or undervalued in financial analysis that have implications for investments.
Criterion Institute has created a tool that can be used by anyone looking to develop a gender lens investing strategy – from foundations, to women’s funds, to investors across asset classes. Following a standard investment cycle, this tool supports the design of an investment strategy with considerations for how gender dynamics might present risks and opportunities. It provides a framework to consider building a gender lens into new or existing strategies. This tool can be used to inform investment strategy or in diligence. Wherever you find yourself in your gender lens investing journey, we hope this tool helps expand imagination of what is possible in the field.