6 ways to approach the gender approach to make it a good business

Betting on the inclusion of women in business is a smart investment because it generates poverty reduction and better economic returns, the core issue of Gender Lens Investing Latam.

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6 ways to approach the gender approach to make it a good business
6 ways to approach the gender approach to make it a good business

MERIDA We women are 50% of the population, however, we generate only 37% of world GDP, we receive a different payment from men and we do not occupy enough leadership positions. During the last 10 years, more women have joined the labor market (70 million women), we are increasingly hearing from more entrepreneurs and even investors, but we still have a long way to go.

Talking about achieving gender equity is not just a moral issue. It is an economic issue through which poverty levels can be reversed and lowered . For sample, some figures that highlight the impact we can achieve from investing in equity. Mckinsey data indicate that, if the gender gap was shortened, women would be able to contribute a GDP of 28,000 million dollars, that is, 26% of the world economy and in Latin America to reach a 34% increase in GDP.

Image: Marisol García Fuentes

To discuss this issue, good practices and co-create innovative solutions to boost investment with a gender approach, also known as smart investment with a gender lens, Pro Mujer organized the first edition of the Gender Lens Investing Forum Latin America ( GLI Forum Latam ), of which was a media partner.

The event brought together entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs and key actors of the impact ecosystem at the Tekik de Regil Hacienda, in Mérida, Yucatán. The day was held within the framework of the Latin American Impact Investment Forum (FLII).

Carmen Correa, Director of Operations for Pro Mujer , a nonprofit development organization that provides financial inclusion, health and education programs to low-income women in Latin America, warned: “We are at a critical moment and turning point for that the funds and entrepreneurs take greater interest in incorporating these concepts ”.

The board said that according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), it is difficult for women entrepreneurs to access financing, one of the main causes of entrepreneurship failure. He added that there is a gap of $ 5,000 million in financing for microenterprises, and $ 93,000 million for small and medium-sized businesses led by women.

Of 78 impact investment funds, 35% have not invested in women-led enterprises, only 30% report having done so and only 10% of their investments.

“Although microfinance institutions have made progress, there is still a lot to do, they must be redefined: improving processes and technologies that can meet the needs of today's women,” Correa said.

Image: Marisol García Fuentes

Gender-oriented investment is attracting both impact investors and traditional investors. The following are the main lenses with which you can see the use of capital to simultaneously generate financial returns and advance gender equality by integrating a gender analysis into the financial analysis.

  1. Women in leadership positions. How many women lead a company and how many are in managerial positions within an enterprise. Are there promotion policies or does the company have plans to develop women? According to the Calvert Foundation, the return in companies where there is gender diversity is much greater than in those that don't exist. In Latin America, women in leadership positions only represent 8.5% and 9.2% in managerial positions.
  2. Women in the workspace. In addition to the incorporation of the gender perspective in work spaces; It includes how to support women to feel part of a culture that fosters gender equity, it is also to be able to give them equal pay and the benefits given to men. Enterprises that promote diversity have 3.5% higher returns.
  3. Women as consumers. Companies that develop products to improve the quality of life of women and girls. It is estimated that between 2017 and 2030 20 million will be incorporated into the labor force in Latin America, that is to say that there will be 20 million more consumers. Women control 64% of purchasing decisions.
  4. The woman in the value chain. Those ventures that seek the incorporation of women will encourage the emergence of more female enterprises.
  5. The woman as an investor. When he takes that role he takes a different role from the man. The woman wants security and income, then cares about society and seeks to generate an impact. According to ANDE, 25% of organizations that promote impact investment have a woman as CEO.
  6. The woman accessing the capital. Create instruments that facilitate access to women, we talk about gender bonds or debt instruments more appropriate for start-up companies or in early stages.

The lens can vary and adjust according to the need of the fund or investors. Correa highlights: “It is not about investing with a gender approach because it is the right thing, but because it is the smartest thing.”

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