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Rebecca Fries

Taking Gender Lens Investing from Concept to Action

Taking Gender Lens Investing from Concept to Action


By Rebecca Fries, Managing Director and Co-founder of Value for Women

July 21st, 2020

Value for Women is pleased to share a new guide on How To Invest With A Gender Lens, which offers multiple concrete pathways for investors who want to keep inclusion at the core of their efforts in these important times.

Many of our investor colleagues are already motivated to use a gender and inclusion lens in their work, and even more so during recovery efforts to COVID-19. Now, they want help to put these ideas into practice. They want to forge their own, unique pathway in this work, and we are proud that this guide points out the many ways investors and others supporting entrepreneurship can put their inclusion principles in action.

This resource offers concrete guidance for investors who want to use their capital to move the needle on impact and inclusion in the context of business and investing, toward both social impact and better business outcomes. It is non-prescriptive, allowing firms to tailor-fit to their markets, motivation and values. There is no one-size-fits-all in gender lens investing, and investors can test out different ideas and pathways in the guide to find the ones that best align with their vehicles, values, and motivation.

Our guide offers entry points for investors at any stage in their gender lens investing journey, as well as opportunities for decisive action that can be taken at any stage of the investment process.

It takes a deeper look at what we see as three key entry points to gender lens investing, namely providing capital to women-led and gender-forward businesses, applying a gender lens across the investment process, and advancing gender diversity in the investment firm itself. For each of these entry points, the guide offers several steps investors can take, and is rich with examples from the field to bring these to life.

We are pleased to share this guide as a blueprint for taking concrete steps to invest with a gender inclusive lens. It is timely for all of us, especially as we reinvest in rebuilding from the impacts of COVID-19.

Rebecca Fries
Rebecca Fries