“Many stakeholders define gender lens investing as solely providing support to firms that are female-led or sell female-centric products or services. We believe this approach is too limited. In our role as capital providers, we seek to embed gender integration in the DNA of companies at an early stage, and work with them to assess how they can be more inclusive across their business model - from equitable systems and structures, to produce design, manufacturing and distribution." – Christine Roddy, Director, AlphaMundi Foundation
AlphaMundi considers integrating gender insights into the investment process as smart investing: gender affects business and business affects gender – both inside and outside the company. This is a ubiquitous factor that remains under-studied and inadequately leveraged.
AlphaMundi has become a gender lens investor because we:
- Believe that balanced teams make better teams that can lead to better financial and social outcomes;
- Understand that support for women and girls is an essential component to our central mission of poverty reduction and consider the inherent risks of not incorporating gender analysis in our work; and
- Are hoping to build a base of evidence across our portfolio of companies and share our findings with the broader community.
Over the past year, we have taken a few critical steps in our journey to gender lens investing.
We have evaluated gender across our portfolio by issuing the adapted gender diagnostic assessment co-created by Acumen and ICRW.
The purpose of the diagnostic assessment is to enable enterprises to evaluate to what extent they are effectively integrating gender across their business model, and where there might be opportunities to further integrate gender to achieve increased business and social impact.
We have also scoped and launched our first two gender technical assistance projects, where we are working with portfolio companies to develop and implement solutions to business challenges with a gender lens.
Finally, we have partnered with like-minded peer impact investor Acumen to conduct research and aggregate insights from our collective gender lens investing efforts to share with the impact investing community. We are optimistic that our broader efforts will help contribute to building the broader business case for gender lens investing.