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Meagan Evans

Empowering 10 Million Women: A Conversation with Value for Women CEO Rebecca Fries

Empowering 10 Million Women: A Conversation with Value for Women CEO Rebecca Fries

This interview was originally published in OnImpact on Sept 5, 2023

Rebecca Fries, CEO, discusses Value for Women’s vision, mission, and strategy to create opportunities for 10 million women globally. She highlights the importance of partnerships and shares insights into how Value for Women plans to drive systemic change.

Q: Can you tell us about the vision and mission of Value for Women?

Rebecca Fries (RF): At Value for Women, our vision is simple yet transformative: we envision a world where women, in all their diversity, can fully realise their potential within thriving economies. We believe that diverse and inclusive businesses drive not only profitability but also contribute to the well-being of societies and the sustainability of our planet. With over a decade of experience, we’ve honed our expertise to equip leaders and institutions with the tools they need to make this vision a reality.

Our mission is clear: we're dedicated to crafting and implementing practical solutions that empower investment, finance, and business to advance gender inclusion. Through our work, we aim to create value, mitigate risk, and foster innovation, all while driving positive societal change. We understand that every market is unique, so we tailor our approaches to ensure they are effective and relevant where we operate.

With our vision and mission as guiding principles, we're passionate about partnering with organisations, leaders, and institutions to catalyse the necessary transformations for gender equality and social inclusion. By combining our deep knowledge, innovative approaches, and commitment to collaboration, we strive to make a lasting impact that empowers women around the world.

Q: How does Value for Women differentiate itself in the industry?

RF: Our strength lies in translating gender equality, diversity, and inclusion principles into practical solutions that help institutions achieve measurable gains. We create innovative approaches and tools that are cost-effective and values-driven. Our focus is on delivering a unique impact and commercial value to our customers through our gender lens consultancy services.

Q: Can you elaborate on the intended impacts and outcomes of Value for Women’s 5-year strategy?

RF: Over the next five years, we aim to drive significant change. Our intended impacts include empowering 10,000 leaders to drive gender and social inclusion in businesses, investment, and finance. We also plan to see 5,000 businesses, investors, and financial institutions adopting gender-forward practices across leadership, employment, supply chains, and more.

Our ultimate goal is to create new opportunities and better conditions for 10 million women in business, investment, and finance. Additionally, we aim to catalyse $1 billion of capital towards institutions, investors, and businesses that prioritise gender equity.

Q: How does Value for Women plan to achieve these outcomes?

RF: We've identified three key drivers of change in our strategy. The first is building individual leadership by designing and delivering leadership programs in partnership with strategic organisations across emerging markets. We aim to develop learning communities and measure success through the number of leaders trained and partnerships established.

The second driver focuses on equipping organisations with solutions, roadmaps, tools, and support to adopt inclusive practices internally and in their offerings. We offer tailored advisory, technical assistance, and support to businesses, investors, and financial service providers.

Success will be measured by the number of organisations that access tools and guidance, the impact on women reached, capital moved with a gender lens, and evidence demonstrating changes in practices.

The third driver centres on amplifying action through evidence and research. We aim to develop industry-recognised platforms and hubs that provide unique insights, solutions, and data for investors, businesses, and financial service providers.

We will create initiatives that challenge underlying systems of inequality and raise awareness for gender and social inclusion approaches. Success indicators will include the number of knowledge products developed, people reached through platforms and events, and the emergence of new approaches challenging inequality.

Q: What will be different for Value for Women moving forward?

RF: Moving forward, we will focus our impact in three realms: the individual, the organisation, and the ecosystem. We will build strategic partnerships with new types of partners beyond businesses, investors, and financial service providers, such as academia, government, and management schools.

We will also develop a roadmap for scaling our work across geographies and sectors beyond 2028. Improving how we measure and communicate our impact, streamlining talent and project management processes, and investing in thought leadership and marketing will be crucial for our growth.

Q: In conclusion, what excites you the most about Value for Women’s future and the opportunities it will create for women?

RF: The most exciting aspect of Value for Women's future is the potential to create new opportunities and better conditions for 10 million women globally. For this to happen, strategic partnerships will be key for us. Through our strategic partnerships, innovative approaches, and practical solutions, we have the power to disrupt business as usual and challenge the underlying assumptions about what constitutes 'good' practices in business, investment, and finance. By equipping leaders and institutions, we can contribute to solving gender and social inequality and drive significant impact toward a more inclusive and equal world. Or as we say, we want to make gender inclusion everyone's business!

Meagan Evans
Meagan Evans

Meagan Evans is the Editor of OnImpact, an online platform featuring insights on the world of impact investmening in Australia and the region. She has almost two decades of experience as an analyst and a communications specialist in financial markets in Australia and in the U.S.