Mainstreaming Gender across the Organisation by Creating a Cross Cutting Gender Action Plan
Root Capital provides loans ranging from $200 000 to $2-million to small and medium enterprises in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia. For Root Capital, gender-lens investing is a holistic practice that applies across its programmatic work and internal operations; these efforts are strategically housed under its cross-organizational Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) to promote opportunities for women in agricultural supply chains.
In light of the impact achieved by the WAI from 2015 to 2020, Root Capital decided to mainstream gender action across its operations and concrete gender-lens activities across the organization, including in areas that had previously been outside the scope of the WAI.
- Root Capital conducted a participatory process to design a gender action plan (GAP) involving all Root Capital departments, from lending and risk to communications and development
- The GAP set the stage for the expansion of WAI activities, and broader participation and commitment in the years that followed
The fund realised they had to walk the talk - that internal gender diversity matters too
It learned the importance of leadership buy-in and executive level championing to successfully mainstream gender within the organisation and the need for a proactive approach to overcome internal barriers
It realised a need for deliberate acn consistent gender awareness building